Ex­perts dis­cover ‘cav­i­ties’ in Egypt’s Great Pyra­mid

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Egypt’s Great Pyra­mid of Giza could con­tain two pre­vi­ously un­known “cav­i­ties”, sci­en­tists us­ing ra­di­og­ra­phy to scan the mil­len­nia-old mon­u­ment said yes­ter­day. On Thurs­day, the an­tiq­ui­ties min­istry cau­tiously an­nounced find­ing “two anom­alies” in the pyra­mid built 4,500 years ago un­der King Khufu, with fur­ther tests to de­ter­mine their func­tion, na­ture and size.

At 146 me­ters tall, Khufu pyra­mid, named af­ter the son of pharaoh Sne­fru, is con­sid­ered one of the seven won­ders of the an­cient world. It has three known cham­bers, and like other pyra­mids in Egypt was in­tended as a pharaoh’s tomb. “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,” sci­en­tists from Op­er­a­tion ScanPyra­mids said in a state­ment. An­other “cav­ity” was dis­cov­ered on the pyra­mid’s north­east flank, said the re­searchers who are us­ing ra­di­og­ra­phy and 3D re­con­struc­tion for their study.

Op­er­a­tion ScanPyra­mids be­gan in Oc­to­ber last year to search for hid­den rooms in­side Khufu and its neigh­bour Khafre in Giza, as well as the Bent and Red pyra­mids in Dahshur, all south of Cairo. The project ap­plies a mix of in­frared ther­mog­ra­phy, muon ra­di­og­ra­phy imag­ing and 3D re­con­struc­tion-all of which the re­searchers say are non-in­va­sive and non-de­struc­tive tech­niques. 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,” ScanPyra­mids ex­plained in a state­ment.

“Ju­di­ciously placed de­tec­tors-for ex­am­ple in­side a pyra­mid, below a po­ten­tial, un­known cham­ber-can then record par­ti­cle tracks and dis­cern cav­i­ties from denser re­gions.” In late 2015, Egypt started radar scans of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Val­ley of the Kings in south­ern Egypt, af­ter a Bri­tish ar­chae­ol­o­gist the­o­rised that Ne­fer­titi was buried in a se­cret cham­ber there. — AFP

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