pyramids giza new chamber
UNSPECIFIED - JUNE 23: Egypt - Cairo - Ancient Memphis (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1979). Pyramids of kings Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure (greek: Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinus) at Giza (Photo by DEA / W. BUSS/De Agostini/Getty Images)

Sophisticated scanning technology has allowed scientists to discover a new, mysterious chamber inside Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, marking the first discovery of a major new space within the pyramid since the 19th century.

Researchers used cosmic-ray imaging to find the 98.4-ft. void within the pyramid. Cosmic-ray imaging records the behavior of subatomic particles called muons and penetrate the rock similar to X-rays, but much deeper.

The muon scan harnesses special plates that are planted inside and around the pyramid to collect data on the particles, which rain down from the earth’s atmosphere. The particles pass through empty spaces but can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces, enabling scientists to study their trajectories and discern what is stone and what is not. Several plates were used to triangulate the void discovered in the Great Pyramid.

Scientists involved in the discovery say it highlights the usefulness of modern particle physics in archaeology.

As for the newly discovered void, archaeologists aren’t quite sure what it is. Mehdi Tayoubi, a co-founder of the ScanPyramids project and president of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute, said, “It could be composed of one or several structures… maybe it could be another Grand Gallery. It could be a chamber, it could be a lot of things.” Whatever it is, it doesn’t appear to be connected to any known internal passages. “It was hidden, I think, since the construction of the pyramid,” Tayoubi added.

For those worried about any ancient Egyptian curses that could be unleashed by the discovery, Egyptologists say there is unlikely to be any hidden treasure within the space.

Next, researchers would like to scan Khafre’s (also known as Chephren’s) Pyramid, Egypt’s second largest pyramid. A team led by Nobel prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez actually carried out muon imaging in Kahfre’s Pyramid in the late 1960’s but reported no new chambers in the areas scanned. However, technology has improved dramatically since then.

Share this incredible archaeological discovery!

Mentioned in this article:

More About: