PUBLISHED: 13:18 EST, 13 August 2012 | UPDATED: 16:43 EST, 13 August 2012
- Discovery made by American researcher Angela Micol, who studied satellite images 5,000 away in North Carolina
- One site spotted on satellite is three times the size of Great Pyramid at Giza
An American scientist has discovered two new possible pyramid sites in Egypt, after spending 10 years studying Google Earth.
Archeology researcher Angela Micol has pinpointed two areas along the Nile basin, 90 miles apart, both containing unusual shaped mounds.
One site includes a 620ft-wide triangular plateau that’s almost three times the size of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Vast: The giant triangular plateau near Abu Sudhum is three times the size of the great Pyramid of Giza
Smaller mounds found by Ms Micol still measure up to 330 feet across
Ms Micol’s ‘second site’ has four-sided ‘pyramidal area’, surrounded by further raised mounds
Ms Micol, who is based in North Carolina, now plans to visit the sites to confirm they really are the location of ancient pyramids.
Pyramids were first built in Egypt in the 28th century BC as tombs for the nation’s Pharoahs. The most famous Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo.
Vast and elaborate structures they took many years and up to 100,000 workers to construct.To date there are 138 known pyramids in Egypt.
2700BC – The first stone pyramid was built at Saqqara, just south of Giza, for the pharaoh Djoser. Unlike the later pyramids, it was made by building layers of stone on top of each other, so it resembled a set of steps.
2600BC – The Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for the Pharoah Khufu (Cheops). Standing 147 metres hihg and weighing an estimated 6,500,000 tonnes, it’s the largest ever discovered.
2575-2150BC – The golden age of pyramids. Hundreds were constructed around Cairo.
The new discovery is significant because almost all the 138 known pyramids are located near Cairo. Ms Micol’s pyramid sites are much further south.
The first area sits alongside the Nile in Upper Egypt, 12 miles from the city of Abu Sidhum.
If the plateau found there represents the remains of a genuine pyramid, it would be the largest ever discovered.
Ms Micol said: ‘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.’
The second site, 90 miles north, contains a four-sided shape that’s 140ft wide.
‘It has a distinct square centre, which is very unusual for a mound of this size and it almost seems pyramidal when seen from above,’ Ms Micol said.
Speaking to Sky News, she added that there were also three smaller mounds: ‘similar to the diagonal alignment of the Giza Plateau 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.’
Both sites are significant because almost all the known pyramids were built around Cairo.
Ms Micol’s sites are much further south.
It’s not the first archeological breakthrough to have been made thanks to Google Earth – in May last year American Egyptologist Dr Sarah Parcak identified 17 lost pyramids.
And Ms Micol herself has used the program to discover a possible underwater city off the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.
Almost all the 138 known pyramids are located around Giza, in the outskirts of Cairo. Ms Micol finds are far further south, near Faiyum and Abu Sidhum
Square mound: A 150ft-wide truncated mound that Ms Micol located near the ancient and abandoned town of Dima
The Great Pyramid of Giza, centre, is the largest known pyramid and one of the seven wonders of the world