'Workers Town' Fed 10,000 Pyramid Builders - 3

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These finds suggest that the residents of the eastern town were not as directly involved in pyramid building and had a special relationship with the pyramid workers.

"They were not provisioned; they were not given their meat and food every day," like those in the workers' town were, Redding said. "It's more of a typical urban farming settlement, and there was a symbiotic relationship between the two —probably," he said.

Research at workers' town suggests that not all the workers lived there and some may have actually camped out near the Giza pyramids.

"What we think now is — and this is something we're going to be coming out with in the next little while — is that, more likely, it was a large portion of the work force, the more skilled laborers [living at workers' town], and that there were temporary camps up by the pyramids where the temporary workers who came in would be housed," he said.

"They probably (didn’t) need much in the way of housing; they would need more shade than anything else. They wouldn't need any kind of warmth because it wouldn't be winter."

Future studies will look for the remains of the workers' towns of Khufu and Khafre, the two other pharaohs who built pyramids at Giza. A dump area, investigated in the 1950s, may hold them; seal impressions found at the dump have the rulers' names on them.

"What we think was going on was that Menkaure came along, he establishes his reign, he leveled that whole area and he took all the levelling debris, took it to the top of the hill and threw it over the back in a big dump," Redding said.

"That dump on the back side of the ridge may represent a remnant of Khufu and Khafre's construction's town," Redding said, adding that he hopes new excavations will begin on the dump in the next year or two.

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