Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023

It could be the ultimate archaeological discovery: a previously unknown chamber lurking beneath the stones of the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt. Now a team using an advanced imaging technique called muography has picked up signals pointing to a hidden passage behind the famous chevron blocks on the pyramid’s north face.

Muography can detect voids or voids in thick layers of soil or rock and is often used to gauge the depths of volcanoes. Muons are cosmic particles that hit Earth at an average speed of 10,000 per square meter per minute, although they can be absorbed or deflected by dense material. To find cavities in rock, researchers placed muon-sensing plates in a corridor in the pyramid, and they measured the amount of muons that impacted over a 67-day period. By analyzing absorption patterns in the muons hitting the plates, the researchers were able to create a 3D model that shows where empty spaces might be in the structure.

What they found was an ambiguous void behind a stone chevron structure on the north side of the pyramid. This chevron is not an ornament – indeed it would have been hidden behind the outer surface of the pyramid when it was completed 4,500 years ago. Instead, chevrons are often used to maintain structural integrity in spaces with ceilings. It seems likely that additional chevron structures have fallen below the pyramid’s remaining ones over time. The fact that these chevrons appear above the supposed empty space provides further evidence that the team may have found a hidden room.

That said, many researchers warn that we need to gather more evidence before making plans to open the pyramid. For now, this is just an anomaly, not a verified hidden room. Former Egyptian antiquities minister Zahi Hawass told Live Science that “the core [of the pyramid] has large and small stones, and this can show cavities everywhere.” He and his team have asked for another year of funding for the imaging group, called the Scan Pyramids Mission, to collect more data.

Scan Pyramids Mission previously used thermal imaging to look for anomalies in the Great Pyramid that could reveal the locations of hidden chambers. When the pyramid warms up in the morning or cools down in the evening, solid areas show a uniform temperature. But if there is an empty area below the surface, it can cause temperature fluctuations. The area identified by muography also showed heat anomalies, so the researchers enlisted experts from Nagoya University in Japan to do muography.

The researchers are still doing muography in the Great Pyramid. They will release more data in the first few months of 2017.

Frame image by Scan Pyramids Mission

By akfire1

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