Researchers using an imaging technology called muography to “see” inside the Great Pyramid of Giza believe they have found two previously undiscovered cavities in the more than 4,500-year-old structure, which is the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu.
“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,” Scan Pyramid reported over the weekend.
“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.”
The team said it had also found a second void behind the pyramid’s descending corridor.
Muography records elementary particles called muons that are produced when cosmic rays collide with the earth’s atmosphere. They are highly penetrative; millions pass through our bodies daily. Muography, like an X-ray, enables scientists to “see” through things, but it is capable of seeing through much larger objects, such as giant pyramids.
"Just like X-rays pass through our bodies allowing us to visualize 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," Mehdi Tayoubi, co-director of ScanPyramids, told Discovery News last April.
ScanPyramids was launched last Oct. 25 under the authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and is led by engineering faculty at Cairo University and the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute.
- A policeman stands guard in front of the Pyramid of Khufu, the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, August 31, 2016.