Saturday April 20, 2019

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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Centuries-old Egyptian Mummy, Artefacts Unearthed

The ancient Egyptian ‘necropolis’ — literally meaning “city of the dead” — had long remained a mystery until 1927, when an antiquities inspector first discovered it

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The Mummy Museum
The Mummy Museum. wikimedia

A centuries-old Egyptian high priest’s mummy and ancient artefacts were discovered on Monday from a remote burial site in Al-Ghorifa, some 165 miles south of Egyptian capital Cairo.

The site was discovered by explorer Josh Gates and renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, who hosted the live broadcast of the reveal on Discovery Channel in the two-hour programme “Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live”.

The broadcast showed the opening of a sealed sarcophagus (stone coffin), which contained the mummy of an exquisitely preserved 2,500-year-old high priest, covered from top to bottom in gold banding and other artifacts.

It also revealed two other mummies, one of them inside a more than 2,500-year-old ‘Family Tomb’, the final resting place of a family. The tomb also included unique objects like an ancient Egyptian board game, remains of a dog and four canopic jars used to store a mummy’s organs.

“While the second mummy was not of a high priest or fully preserved, the objects inside the tomb and inscriptions on his sarcophagus reveal that he was a singer in the temple of Thoth, an Egyptian god,” a statement by Discovery said.

Artifacts
Ancient mummified hand recovered during ICE HSI’s Operation Mummy’s Hand. (Courtesy: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). VOA

A mysterious wax head of a high priest was also found in the excavation.

Gates, following the broadcast, said: “There aren’t many who have gone down into unexplored ancient tombs. We were able to document spectacular artefacts and mummies and bring viewers along in real time. It was the thrill of a lifetime.”

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“The programme was seen by millions of people. We are sending an important message that Egypt is safe and we invite tourists to come,” Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, said in a statement.

The ancient Egyptian ‘necropolis’ — literally meaning “city of the dead” — had long remained a mystery until 1927, when an antiquities inspector first discovered it. (IANS)