Long Lost Pyramids Found?

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The structures were spotted last year by amateur satellite archaeologist Angela Micol. She used Google Earth 5,000 miles away in North Carolina.
Mohamed Aly Soliman

The documents would point to the existence of two buried pyramids which add to the known Fayum pyramids of Lahoun and Hawara.

"They would be the greatest pyramids known to mankind," the couple said. "We would not exaggerate if we said the finding can overshadow the Pyramids of Giza."

Their sources would indicate the pyramids at the Fayum site were intentionally buried in a "damnatio memoriae" -- an attempt to intentionally strike them from memory.

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While the site in the Fayum has not been investigated yet, a preliminary on-the-ground expedition has already occurred at the site near Abu Sidhum, providing intriguing data to compare with El-Kady and Farouk’s maps and documents.

"Those mounds are definitely hiding an ancient site below them," Mohamed Aly Soliman, who led the preliminary expedition near Abu Sidhum, told Discovery News.

"First of all, the land around them is just a normal flat land. It is just desert -- sand and stones," he said. "The mounds are different: You will find pottery everywhere, seashells and transported layers. These are different layers, not belonging to the place, and were used by the Egyptians to hide and protect their buried sites," he said.

"Describing himself as "one of the many Egyptians obsessed with the pharaohs’ civilization," Aly has a background as a private investigator and has been studying to identify archaeological sites in Egypt.

"If we look back in history we will find that pharaohs were using seashells in building their tombs and pyramids for ventilation purpose," Aly said.

"Even the rocks used in building pyramids contained up to 40 percent seashells."

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He cited the work of Ioannis Liritzis, a professor of archaeometry at the University of the Aegean and colleagues at the University of Athens.

According to the amateur geo-archaeologist, the local people living near the mounds had long suspected the formations were ancient in origin. They had tried to dig on one of the small mounds years ago, but the excavation failed due to striking very hard stone that Aly and Micol believe may be granite.

"What made us sure those mounds are hiding pyramids was a special cavity and metal detector we used over the mounds," Aly Soliman said. "The detector we used showed an underground tunnel heading north on both the big mounds."

"It also signaled metal was present in the mounds," he said. "Most Egyptian pyramids have north facing entrance tunnels, so this is another promising piece of evidence we have found."

According to Micol, the Egyptian team believes they have identified a temple or habitation site near the site and a row of what may be mastaba tombs adjacent to the mounds.

So, has a bunch of amateur archaeologists made a discovery that will dwarf the Pyramids of Giza? Or are their pyramids just naturally occurring rock outcrops filled with wishful thinking and vivid imagination?

"Whether they prove to be anything more than nature must be verified on the ground, but this location seems promising and is the result of research beyond simply pointing out the first sand dune noticed on Google Earth," archaeologist Patrick Rohrer told Discovery News.

To further research the pyramid puzzle and examine other sites, Micol's set up the Satellite Archaeology Foundation, Inc. a pending non-profit -- and launched a crowdfunding campaign.

"Due to unrest and economic distress in Egypt, life is not easy for archaeologists" Micol said. "We found no one from the Egyptian academic community who is interested in finding out about these sites at this time."

"Now that we have ground proof and historical evidence," she added, "my goal is to go to Egypt with a team of U.S. scientists and videographers to help validate the evidence found by the expedition team and to prove if these sites are lost pyramid complexes."

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