What we know about the mysterious chamber discovered inside the Great Pyramid

  • What we know about the mysterious chamber discovered inside the Great Pyramid

What we know about the mysterious chamber discovered inside the Great Pyramid

They add that the discovery, which has been dubbed the ScanPyramids Big Void, represents a major breakthrough in the understanding of Khufu's pyramid, and demonstrates "how modern particle physics can shed new light on the world's archaeological heritage".

Made under the watch of the Pharaoh Khufu and completed in around 2550 BC, the Great Pyramid, also known as Khufu's Pyramid, served as the world's tallest man-made construction for thousands of years.

"In order to understand how Khufu was built, we need to understand the internal structure".

Scientists have discovered a secret chamber inside the Great Pyramid of Giza that is believed to date back millennia, the Nature journal reported on Thursday.

And that's it. Mehdi Tayoubi, one of the scientists who discovered the space, explained in a press briefing, "What we are sure about is that this big void is there, that it is impressive, and that it was not expected by any kind of theory". Muons (elementary particles similar to electrons) originate from collisions between cosmic rays and atoms in the upper atmosphere.

"It's very clear what they found as a void doesn't mean anything at all". These particles rain down and lose energy as they pass through materials - like the thick stones of the pyramid - and that makes them slow down and decay.

The scattering of the muons was recorded on an extremely sensitive photographic medium known as nuclear emulsion film, which had been positioned in the Queen's chamber, inside the pyramid.

"In order to construct the Grand Gallery, you had to have a hollow, or a big void in order to access it - you can not build it without such a space", he said. Every method showed the same result: a large void in the area above the Grand Gallery.

Finding the new space was a happy accident, and the unexpected discovery could provide clues that will help archaeologists solve the pyramid's other mysteries.

The fact that we're only now discovering it could be due to the fact that researchers were using highly advanced technology when they detected the space. "There are many voids in the pyramid because of construction reasons", Egyptologist Zahi Hawass claims.

"The Great Pyramid is full of voids". The study of the pyramids has been going on for an terrible long time.

Hany Helal of Cairo University, coordinator of the ScanPyramids project, put the open question to the academic community: "We open the question to Egyptologists and archaeologists: what could it be?"