The scientists have discovered a giant void inside the Great Pyramid of Giza also known as the Pyramid of Khufu. It was identified using the high-energy particles called muons and a method called muon radiography.
The discovery was led by Japanese and French scientists. They were involved with the ScanPyramids project, which detected the hidden void in 2015. The researchers made its announcement after examining the pyramid complex for two years, according to BBC News.
Mehdi Tayoubi from the HIP Institute in Paris said that they do not know whether this big void is horizontal or inclined. They also do not know if the void is made by one structure or several successive structures. Tayoubi further said what they are certain about is that the big void exists and it is impressive.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu, who was in power 4,500 years ago. It is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the tallest human-made structure on the planet Earth. The use of the newly discovered void in this pyramid remains a mystery. Probably, it may have a significant role in the ancient pharaoh’s tomb or maybe in his afterlife, according to Science Alert.
The pyramid has three large interior chambers, including a number of passageways such as the 47 meters long and eight meters high grand gallery. The big void is located just above the grand gallery (the inclined plane in the image below) near the king’s chamber and could have the same dimensions as the grand gallery.
Meanwhile, the ScanPyramids team has already identified a small void on the northern face of the pyramid. About three muon technologies have detected the same feature in the same area. This muon radiography acts like an X-ray, in which the muons bounce inside the structure and deliver an outline for a 3D reconstruction of the space.
Mark Lehner, the well-known American archaeologist, said that muon science is sound. On the other hand, he is not yet convinced the discovery has significance. He further said that it could be a kind of space that the builders left to protect the very narrow roof of the grand gallery from the weight of the pyramid.
Hany Helal, one of the team leaders of the discovery from Cairo University, thought that the void is too big to have a pressure-relieving purpose. He is aware that the experts will debate on this.
He said that what they are doing is to understand the internal structure of the pyramids and how they have been built. He further said that renowned Egyptologists, archaeologists, and architects may have some hypotheses. He added that they are giving them data, and it is they who have to tell the people whether this is expected or not.
[Featured Image by Lindrik/Thinkstock]