August 14, 2012
Mysteries Of The World: Have Two Lost Egyptian Pyramids Been Found?
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Google Earth has been the go-to program for all your satellite imagery adventures since its inception in 2001. And a recent survey using the popular world-mapping tool has potentially uncovered two lost treasures from ancient Egypt.
The possible hand-structured peaks were discovered by Angela Micol, a satellite archaeology researcher with Google Earth Anomalies, who believes they could be previously undiscovered pyramids hiding in plain sight in the Egyptian desert. North Carolinian Micol came across two sites, each about 90 miles apart from each other that resemble other pyramid sites in the region.
One site in Upper Egypt, located just 12 miles from Abu Sidhum, features four mounds each with a larger, triangular-shaped plateau. The two larger mounds at this site are approximately 250 feet in width, with two smaller mounds approximately 100 feet in width. The site has a very clear formation with the main object extending to a width of about 620 feet, making it three times the size of the Great Pyramid.
“Upon closer examination of the formation, this mound appears to have a very flat top and a curiously symmetrical triangular shape that has been heavily eroded with time,” Micol wrote on her Google Earth Anomalies website.
The second site is located 90 miles north near the Fatoum oasis. This complex contains a four-sided, truncated mound nearly 150 feet wide. “It has a distinct square center which is very unusual for a mound of this size and it almost seems pyramidal when seen from above,” wrote Micol.
The site is also 1.5 miles southeast of the ancient town of Dimai. It contains three smaller mounds in a very clear formation, “similar to the diagonal alignment of the Giza Plateau pyramids,” said Micol. “The color of the mounds is dark and similar to the material composition of Dimai's walls which are made of mudbrick and stone.”
Dimai, which was founded in the third century BC under King Ptolemy II Philadelphia (309 BC - 246 BC), was built atop an earlier Neolithic settlement. Also known as Dimeh al-Siba, Dimeh of the Lions, the town is surrounded by a mudbrick wall that stretches up to 32 feet high and 16 feet thick, and features at its center a ruined stone temple dedicated to the crocodile god Soknopaios.
Both sites have been verified as undiscovered by Egyptologist and pyramid expert Nabil Selim, who is credited with discovery of the Sinki pyramid at Abydos and the Dry Moat surrounding the Step pyramid complex at Saqqara. Selim noted that the smaller 100-foot mounds at the upper site are similar in size to the 13th Dynasty Egyptian pyramids.
“The images speak for themselves. It's very obvious what the sites may contain but field research is needed to verify they are, in fact, pyramids,” Micol said, according to Discovery News.
Micol has used Google Earth previously to discover several other possible archaeological sites, including a potential underwater city off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula.
Micol´s virtual discovery is similar to another that occurred last year, when Egyptologist and UAB professor Sarah Parcak announced that she found 17 pyramids, 3,100 ancient settlements, and upwards of 1,000 tombs with the aid of infrared satellite images.