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Questions about Egypt

How did the builders of the Egyptian pyramids illuminate the interior corridors and chambers during construction?
   Elizabeth, Web Post

Dr. dig responds:
The Egyptians do not tell us how they illuminated their pyramids. However, the remains of charcoal flecks in the mortar of the pyramids suggest that they used torches and oil lamps. These were certainly used in the Valley of the Kings, where they made the cramped tombs very smoky. The pyramids were built in horizontal layers, and the passages and chambers were included as the walls went up (rather than building the pyramid first, then excavating the passages and chambers within the pyramid mass). Thus, the pyramid builders would work in natural daylight as far as possible.


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