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Pyramids Not Built by Slaves, Egypt Says
January 12, 2010

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From Herodotus to Hollywood – that's the long history of the story of how slaves built the great Pyramids at Giza, Egypt. Yet newly uncovered evidence suggests even more strongly than ever before that the story of slaves' building the Pyramids is indeed a myth.

Zahi Hawass, Egypt's chief archaeology spokesman, announced the discovery of tombs containing the bodies of people who built the Pyramids. These people were buried in a way similar to non-enslaved people found previously, including with jars full of supplies for the afterlife. The tombs are in the shadow of Giza. Both of those things prove to Hawass and others that these were laborers who earned perhaps only a small wage but still were not chained or otherwise enslaved.

The idea of slaves' building the Pyramids was first put forward by Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian who visited Egypt. He reported the idea as fact, and subsequent history (and a few Hollywood movies) have kept the idea alive. The work was thought to be so back-breaking that the idea that people would do it for a low wage or for love of the pharaoh was thought to be outlandish.

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