Using multiple different types of scanning technology, a group of researchers may (or may not) have discovered cavities in two separate areas of the Great Pyramid of Giza – presenting at least the possibility that previously undiscovered chambers exist in the ancient structure.
According to CNET and ScienceAlert, officials with the Scan Pyramids project, a multinational effort to study the Great Pyramid (also known as the Khufu Pyramid) involving scientists from a variety of different universities and institutions, used infrared thermography, 3D simulation, and muon radiography imaging (a scan similar to an X-ray) to analyze the monument.
They discovered anomalies at two separate locations in the Pyramid: one located behind a gate in its north face and the other roughly 345 feet (105 meters) above the ground in the northeast edge of the structure. Both purported cavities are located far from the tombs and the main pathways in the structure, and there is no evidence that they are linked in any way, the reports said.
In a press release issued this past weekend, researchers said that they were able to “confirm the existence” of a “void” behind the north face of the Pyramid, and that they were still investigating to determine its exact size, shape, and position. Likewise, they said that they were able to confirm that there was “an unknown cavity” along the monument’s northeast edge.
Officials overseeing the project calling for additional analysis
Their scans, they explained, revealed “significant excess of muons” in the direction of the north face anomaly, and that further analysis determined that the “excess of muons, which could be interpreted as a void, was not statistical fluctuation or noise.” They added that the readings were in “the shape of a straight line,” which “strongly suggests… one or several voids.”
Similar techniques were used to detect the apparent cavity in the northeast edge of the Pyramid, which is also said to be of currently undetermined size and shape. While some might be tempted to suggest that the discovery is conclusive proof of that the monument contains secret chambers, some experts are skeptical of the team’s findings, according to Live Science.
The results, the website reported on Monday, “are more ambiguous,” and even the man in charge of overseeing the project, Egyptian antiquities minister Zahi Hawass, is apparently not yet totally convinced that the team has discovered actual cavities behind the monument’s walls. In actuality, he and his colleagues on the Scan Pyramids oversight team are urging caution, releasing a second press release to emphasize that additional work needs to be done to confirm the finding.
In that statement, they recommended extending the project by an additional year, and took care to refer to the discoveries “anomalies” instead of “cavities” or “voids,” Live Science explained. Hawass went on to explain to them that the results could actually be triggered by different sized stones used to build the monument, and does not necessarily indicate the existence of a hidden, room-sized chamber in either location.
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