Archaeologist Zahi Hawass tests New scanner on the Great Pyramid of Giza to unravel hidden secrets

British Egyptologist Nicolas Reeves, feels that secret burial chambers could be hidden behind the walls of King Tutankhamun's tomb

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Great pyramid of Giza. Source: Wikipedia
  • Archaeologist Zahi Hawass and his team is testing a new scanner on the Great Pyramid of Giza
  • The new scanner uses subatomic particles known as muons to examine structures
  • Thermal scan in 2015, identified a major anomaly in the pyramid- three adjacent stones at its base which registered higher temperatures than others

CAIRO, EGYPT- Famous archaeologist Zahi Hawass accompanied by a team is testing a new scanner on the Great Pyramid of Giza on Thursday, June 2. The former antiquities minister and his team are hoping that use of modern technology might help in finding secrets buried beneath the stone.

The new scanner uses subatomic particles known as muons to examine structures; currently it is scanning the 4,500 year-old burial structure. It was set up at the site last year in 2015 and will complete its data collection in this month of June.

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“It’s running right now, and if it manages to detect one of the three chambers we already know exist inside, then we will continue the scans,” Hawass said. He has been appointed by the Antiquities Ministry to head the team that will review the scan results.

Thermal scan at the end of last year identified a major anomaly in the pyramid- three adjacent stones at its base which registered higher temperatures than others.

Former Antiquity Minister and Famous Archaeologist Zahi Hawass. Source : Wikipedia
Former Antiquity Minister and Famous Archaeologist Zahi Hawass. Source : Wikipedia

Hawass has in the past downplayed the usefulness of scans on ancient sites, saying that they have never found anything important. He has clashed publicly with British Egyptologist Nicolas Reeves, whose theory that secret burial chambers could be hidden behind the walls of King Tutankhamun’s tomb was both prompted and reinforced by scanning.

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For more than a decade Hawass was a celebrity starring in TV documentaries, eventually ruling the Antiquities Ministry like a pharaoh. He was dismissed from the post after Egypt’s 2011 uprising that toppled long time autocrat Hosni Mubarak and faced corruption charges, of which he was later cleared.

Following his new appointment, Hawass in his statement criticized scanning technologies and said they could be useful if directed by the right hands — such as his.

“You need Egyptologists to oversee all this, otherwise mistakes can be made,” he said. “I hope these scans will help us obtain accurate information,” he said, adding that he believed another burial chamber remains undiscovered inside.

-prepared by Bhaskar Raghavendran (with inputs from VOA), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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Here are 4 Destinations you Need to Add to Your 2020 Travel Calendar

Mark your 2020 travel calendar with these global spots

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Travel destinations
If you're a traveller then you definitely need to visit these beautiful global travel destinations. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

For travel enthusiasts and people who are looking to head out for a long-haul vacation in the upcoming year, the experts have suggested some top destinations where they can breath a “sigh of relief”. Lets see what they are:

1. Egypt

Egypt has just topped UK’s Independent newspaper’s list for “top countries to visit”. With the new Grand Egyptian Museum located near the Pyramids of Giza, opening in 2020, where there will be 30,000 never-before-seen Egyptian artefacts, this will be a big draw. –Anthony Lim, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold

2. Australia

Apart from having a plethora of natural and manmade tourist attractions, Australia will also be hosting the T20 Cricket World Cup in 2020, which will make Australia a hot travel destination in 2020. –Paytm Travel

Egypt travel
Egypt is considered to be one of the best travel destinations in the world. Pixabay

3. Bali

Indonesia’s most visited island refuses to lose its charm for the travellers. Awarded as the World’s Best Travel Destination in 2017, the island covers the holiday interests of all kinds of travellers. Whether it is natural attractions, cultural richness or gastronomic adventures, the island has multiple spots to experience them all. With its extravagant temples, never-ending coastline, some of the world’s best retreats and party spots, Bali is a marvellous combination of leisure, adventure, spiritual awakening and a happening nightlife, all in one island. –Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, Zostel

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4. Japan

Japan will be another trending destination in the new year because of the 2020 Olympics but what people will be seeking for is the opportunity to go deeper into Japan. From the dynamic cities to the majestic temples and scenic landscapes, Japan is an amazing showcase of the juxtaposition of modern and traditional cultures. –Anthony Lim, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold (IANS)

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President of Egypt Calls for Collective Action Against Countries Supporting Terrorism

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Terrorism egypt
The president of Egypt Urges world leaders to take decisive action against states supporting terrorism. Pixabay

Egypt’s president Wednesday called for “decisive” and “collective” action against countries supporting “terrorism” in an apparent reference to Turkey and Qatar, who back the Muslim Brotherhood group, which is outlawed in Egypt.

The three countries also support opposing factions in the war-torn Libya.

Addressing a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi also said achieving sustainable development in Africa is needed, along with efforts to fight militant groups in Egypt and the Sahel region that stretches across Africa south of the Sahara Desert.

“There should be a decisive response to countries supporting terrorism and a collective response against terrorism, because the terrorist groups will only have the ability to fight if they are provided with financial, military and moral support,” he said.

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi Egypt
The President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. VOA

The gathering in Aswan is attended by the leaders of Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Senegal along with officials from the U.S., Britain and Canada.

The Sahel region is home to al-Qaida and Islamic State group-linked militants. El-Sissi said Egypt could help train forces and provide weapons to countries in the region to fight extremists.

Egypt has for years been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 amid mass protests against his brief rule.

Militant-related violence in Egypt has been centered on the Sinai Peninsula, as well as in the country’s vast Western Desert, which has witnessed deadly attacks blamed on militants infiltrating from neighboring Libya.

Since Morsi’s ouster, tensions have grown between Egypt and Turkey and Egypt and Qatar. The political party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo designated as at terrorist group in 2013.

Upcoming conference

El-Sissi also said a “comprehensive, political solution would be achieved in the coming months” for the conflict in Libya, which descended into chaos after the 2011 civil war that ousted and killed long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He did not elaborate.

Egypt
This photo provided by the office of Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, dignitaries including Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, gather, for a photo during a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Egypt. VOA

He said that would put an end to a “terrorist hotbed that pushes militants and weapons to (Libya’s) neighboring countries including Egypt.”

El-Sissi apparently was referring to an international summit in Berlin that aims to reach an agreement on actions needed to end the conflict. The conference had been scheduled for October, but it has apparently been postponed.

After the 2011 civil war, Libya split in two, with a weak U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli overseeing the country’s west and a rival government in the east aligned with the Libyan National Army led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

Maritime border agreement 

El-Sissi’s comments came amid heightened tensions with Turkey after a controversial maritime border agreement it signed last month with Libya’s Tripoli-based government.

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Greece, Egypt and Cyprus, which lie between the two geographically, have denounced the deal as being contrary to international law, and Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador last week over the issue.

Hifter has for months been fighting an array of militias allied with the Tripoli authorities to wrestle control of the capital.  He is backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia, while the Tripoli-based government receives aid from Turkey, Qatar and Italy. (VOA)

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Possible Lion Mummy Unearthed in Egypt

Archeologists frequently find mummified cats but the recovery of a lion is rare

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Lion, Mummy, Egypt
The golden coffin that once held the mummy of Nedjemankh, a priest in the Ptolemaic Period some 2,000 years ago, is displayed at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, in Old Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 1, 2019. VOA

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities says local archeologists have unearthed the mummy of an unusually large animal, most likely a lion or lioness.

The ministry said on Monday the mummy was excavated in Saqqara, a town south of Cairo that was a vast necropolis in antiquity and is home to the famed Step Pyramid.

Archeologists frequently find mummified cats but the recovery of a lion is rare. In 2004, the first lion skeleton was found, revealing the sacred status of the animal during ancient times.

Lion, Mummy, Egypt
The ministry said on Monday the mummy was excavated in Saqqara, a town south of Cairo that was a vast necropolis in antiquity and is home to the famed Step Pyramid. Pixabay

The ministry says it will expand on the discovery at a press conference after running radar scans.

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Egypt has stepped up promotion of its archeological treasures in hopes of reviving a tourism sector slow to recover from the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. (VOA)