Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
FILE - The Great Pyramid of Giza, finished in 2560 B.C., was the final resting place for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu.

Cairo, November 2, 2017, 3:38 PM: Scientists say they have found a hidden chamber in Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, in what would be the first such discovery in the structure since the 19th century and one likely to spark a new surge of interest in the pharaohs.

In an article published Thursday in the journal Nature, an international team said the 30-meter void deep within the pyramid is situated above the structure’s Grand Gallery and has a similar cross section.


The purpose of the space is unclear, and it’s not yet known whether it was built with a function in mind or if it’s merely a gap in the pyramid’s architecture. Some experts say such empty spaces have been known for years.

“This is a premier,” said Mehdi Tayoubi, a co-founder of the ScanPyramids project and president of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute. “It could be composed of one or several structures … maybe it could be another Grand Gallery. It could be a chamber. It could be a lot of things.”

The scientists made the discovery using cosmic ray imaging, recording the behavior of subatomic particles called muons that penetrate the rock similar to X-rays, only much more deeply. The paper was peer-reviewed before appearing in Nature, an international, interdisciplinary journal of science, and its results were confirmed by other teams of scientists.

Probably empty

Chances of the space containing treasure or burial chambers are almost nil, said Aidan Dodson, an Egyptologist at the University of Bristol, but the discovery helps shed light on building techniques.

“The pyramid’s burial chamber and sarcophagus have already been discovered, so this new area was more likely kept empty above the Grand Gallery to reduce the weight of stone pressing down on its ceiling,” he said, adding that similar designs have been found in other pyramids.

Egypt’s former antiquities minister and famed archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who has been testing scanning methods and heads the government’s oversight panel for the new techniques, said that the area in question has been known of for years and thus does not constitute a discovery. He has long downplayed the usefulness of scans of ancient sites.

“The Great Pyramid is full of voids. We have to be careful how results are presented to the public,” he said, adding that one problem facing the international team is that it did not have an Egyptologist as a member. He said the chamber was likely empty space that builders used to construct the rooms below.

“In order to construct the Grand Gallery, you had to have a hollow, or a big void, in order to access it — you cannot build it without such a space,” he said. “Large voids exist between the stones and may have been left as construction gaps.”

FILE - A map of the interior of the Great Pyramid of Giza from 1909. Advanced mapping techniques have discovered previously uknown "voids" in the structure.

(FILE – A map of the interior of the Great Pyramid of Giza from 1909. Advanced mapping techniques have discovered previously uknown “voids” in the structure.

The pyramid is also known as Khufu’s Pyramid for its builder, a 4th Dynasty pharaoh who reigned from 2509 to 2483 B.C. Visitors to the pyramid, on the outskirts of Cairo, can walk, hunched over, up a long tunnel to reach the Grand Gallery. The space announced by the scanning team does not appear to be connected to any known internal passages).

A ‘breakthrough’

Scientists involved in the scanning called the find a “breakthrough” that highlighted the usefulness of modern particle physics in archaeology.

“It was hidden, I think, since the construction of the pyramid,” Tayoubi added.

The Great Pyramid, the last surviving wonder of the ancient world, has captivated visitors since it was built as a royal burial chamber 4,500 years ago. Experts are still divided over how it and other pyramids were constructed, so even relatively minor discoveries generate great interest.

Late last year, for example, thermal scanning identified a major anomaly in the Great Pyramid — three adjacent stones at its base that registered higher temperatures than others.

Speculation that King Tutankhamun’s tomb contains additional antechambers stoked interest in recent years, before scans by ground-penetrating radar and other tools came up empty, raising doubts about the claim.

The muon scan is accomplished by planting special plates inside and around the pyramid to collect data on the particles, which rain down from the Earth’s atmosphere. They pass through empty spaces but can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces, allowing scientists to study their trajectories and discern what is stone and what is not. Several plates were used to triangulate the void discovered in the Great Pyramid.

While the technology can detect large open spaces, it cannot discern what is inside, so it’s unclear if the empty space contains any objects. Tayoubi said the team plans now to work with others to come up with hypotheses about the area.

“The good news is that the void is there, and it’s very big,” he said.(VOA)


Popular

Wikimedia Commons

Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.

Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.

When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event.

In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.

Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:

Every child responds differently to disturbing events:
What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.

a boy crying tears for his loss Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Andreas Haslinger on Unsplash

European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.

Different charging cables "Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Keep reading... Show less