A team of researchers that have used cutting edge technology to scan the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt have discovered two previously unknown cavities inside the world-famous monument. Are they secret rooms or passages that have long been rumored to lie within?
The research team with the Scan Pyramid project applied a combination of infrared thermography, muon radiography imaging and elements of 3D reconstruction of the Great Pyramid. The results revealed two anomalies inside the construction that have been described as “cavities”.
The Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of two anomalies in Cairo on Thursday. The millennia-old pyramid has three known chambers, but researchers have speculated for many decades that there is much more to discover inside the 146-meter tall pyramid of King Khufu. According to Seeker, the researchers are able to confirm the existence of a 'void' hidden behind the northern side at the upper part of the entrance gate. The void may be a corridor which runs inside the structure. The second cavity was discovered on the northeast flank of the pyramid.
Does the Great Pyramid contain hidden chambers? Source: BigStockPhotoAccording to the statement by Scan Pyramids, muons are "similar to X-rays, which can penetrate the body and allow bone imaging" and "can go through hundreds of meters of stone before being absorbed. Judiciously placed detectors -- for example inside a pyramid, below a potential, unknown chamber -- can then record particle tracks and discern cavities from denser regions." The newly discovered spaces inside the pyramid may be the long expected lost element of the pyramid.
The work by the French researchers from the Scan Pyramids project has been made in collaboration with famous archeologist and former head of the Ministry of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass. The project had initially been led by Nicholas Reeves, who used radar scans to reveal possible unknown chambers in the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings. However, that discovery was negated by Dr Hawass and other researchers, so Reeves didn't receive permission to excavate inside the tomb. Dr Hawass’ previous opinions about the scans make his appearance in the project rather surprising. As National Geographic wrote in May 6, 2016: ''After claiming that radar has never led to a single discovery in Egypt, Dr Hawass said, “We have to stop this media business, because there is nothing to publish. There is nothing to publish today or yesterday.''
''A team of researchers has presented the results of an analysis focused on the internal structure of the Bent Pyramid of pharaoh Sneferu (Snefru), a 4,500-year-old monument named after its sloping upper half.”
A 3-D cutaway showing the inside of the Pyramid of Sneferu. Source: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, HIP Institute and the Faculty of Engineering (Cairo University)
Muons are formed at the moment when cosmic rays hit the Earth’s atmosphere. The particles rain down from the atmosphere, pass through empty spaces, and they can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces. They don't affect the human body, but if special detector plates are used, they can be tracked.
The size, shape and exact position of the newly-discovered cavities are now under investigation. To that end, the Scan Pyramids project has requested an extension of one year to complete the project.
Top image: A 3D cutaway view of the Great Pyramid of Giza revealing its interior chambers. Experts confirmed the existence of the mysterious cavities on Saturday after scanning the millennia-old monument with radiography equipment. Credit: Operation Scan Pyramids
By Natalia Klimzcak