Scientists discover two mysterious ‘chambers’ in the Great Pyramid of Giza
Tourists ride camels in front of Giza pyramids.
Tourists ride camels in front of Giza pyramids. Credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
18 October 2016 • 9:44am
Researchers studying the Great Pyramid of Giza, built in around 2560BC as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, believe they have discovered two previously-unknown cavities within the structure.
Scan Pyramids, a collaborative project involving a number of universities, companies and scientific institutes, has been using muography, thermography and 3D simulation to discover more about the pyramid.
Describing the muography technique to Discovery News earlier this year, researcher Mehdi Tayoubi said: "Just like X-rays pass through our bodies allowing us to visualise our skeleton, these elementary particles, weighing around 200 times more than electrons, can very easily pass through any structure, even large and thick rocks, such as mountains."
ScanPyramids Mission Teaser_English Version from HIP Institute on Vimeo.
Through muography, researchers say they’ve detected an unknown cavity on the North Eastern edge of the Pyramid, and another unknown void behind the pyramid’s descending corridor.
“We are now able to confirm the existence of a ‘void’ hidden behind the North Face, that could have the form of at least one corridor going inside the Great Pyramid,” the team said in a press release.
“The precise shape, size, and exact position of this void is now under further investigation. It should be done with the help of 12 new Muon Emulsion plates that are installed in the descending corridor, and will be collected by the end of October 2016.”
Comparison of muography simulation and results for descending corridor
Comparison of muography simulation and results for descending corridor Credit: Scan Pyramids
The team is continuing to acquire muon data inside Khufu’s Queen Chamber within the pyramid. “We expect to have the results of the analysis of those instruments during the first three months of 2017,” researchers said.
Scientists overseeing the research project have recommended it be extended by a year to collect more data.
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