An international team of scientists claims to have discovered a previously unknown space within the Great Pyramid of Giza. In a study published in Nature detailing their use of advanced scanning processes, the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute disclosed the apparent existence of a large unknown structure located above the famed Grand Gallery.
Mehdi Tayoubi, the institute’s president, told Daily Mail reporters “it could be composed of one or several structures. Maybe it could another Grand Gallery. It could be a chamber; it could a lot of things.”
There are so many theories — nice ones but also crazy ones,
He went on to tell the BBC “what we are sure about is that this big void is there; that it is impressive; and that it was not expected as far as I know by any theory.”
THERE ARE SO MANY THEORIES — NICE ONES BUT ALSO CRAZY ONES
The team, composed of French and Japanese scientists, employed the use of cosmic-ray imaging. The process uses plates designed to record the activity of muons, a kind of naturally occurring sub atomic particle. Such muons are constantly entering the earth’s atmosphere, but their path can be interrupted by solid objects, such as the pyramid’s rock walls.
Using these plates and triangulating the data, the team was able to approximate the size of the “void” without disturbing the surrounding walls. This technology has been employed successfully in multiple geological studies as well as, more recently, the investigation into the reactor failure at Fukushima.
The pyramid is also known as Khufu’s Pyramid for its builder, a 4th dynasty pharaoh who reigned from 2509 to 2483 B.C.
Researchers placed muons detectors inside and outside the pyramid
The pyramids of Giza have drawn both scientific and artistic study for ages. However, no major discoveries have been found in the pyramid since the 1800’s. The 19th-century techniques of excavation were primitive and often damaged to the artifacts being studied. “We can no longer go blasting our way through the pyramid with gunpowder, ” the American archaeologist Mark Lehner said while calling for “more of a focus” on the discovered “anomaly.” More recent explorations using robots, such as the Upuaut Project campaigns in 1992 and 1993, were significantly less damaging but produced only minor successes.
However, not all of the archeological community is thrilled with the published results, and some have expressed doubts regarding the validity of the find. Archaeologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying “The Great Pyramid is full of voids. We have to be careful how results are presented to the public.”
Coincidentally, both the exact details of the Great Pyramids construction and the ultimate source of the universe’s muons are unknown. In both sciences, arguments clash and contradict each other, and new theories are frequently created and disposed of. In this unique case, scientists can use the known qualities of one mystery to explore the unknown facts of another.