COUNCIL CHRONICLE – Khufu’s Pyramid, one if not perhaps the most famous Egyptian pyramid, has a big, empty space in it, says an international team of scientists.
According to their study paper, released in journal Nature, the area is at least 30 meters long. It may or may not be inclined. It might also either be one large area or several smaller rooms.
Yet Another Mystery of this Egyptian Pyramid
Also called the Great Pyramid of Giza, Khufu’s or Cheops’s Pyramid is the largest Egyptian pyramid and also one of the best-known. It is 139 meters high and 230 meters wide. Until now, it only had three known chambers. One of them was left unnamed, while the others are called the Queen’s and the King’s Chambers. Corridors, including one called the Grand Gallery, connect them.
In the past, people tried finding more chambers with ground penetrating radar or by measuring vibrations in the pyramid’s gravity, but these never yielded definite results.
This time, however, scientists were looking for muons. These are caused by cosmic rays smashing into the atmosphere and are quite common. About 10,000 muons hit every square meter of the planet every minute of every day. They can pass through rock without a problem, meaning that scientists can use them similarly to how they turn to X-rays to see through a person’s body.
Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez, who developed muon topography, has previously used it on the nearby Pyramid of Khafre. In doing so, he determined that this does not have any hidden areas.
So far the specialists who found the “big void” are choosing not to call it a chamber since they cannot say what the area was used for. Their technology found the space, but now, they are leaving it up to Egyptologists to figure out why the ancients Egyptians chose to build it.
“What we are sure about is that this big void is there, but we need to understand [it] better,” said Mehdi Tayoubi, whose Paris-based non-profit, the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute, headed the scientific effort.
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