Scientists discover hidden chamber in Great Pyramid

Muriel Hammond
November 3, 2017

The known specifics about the space, which according to NPR is the "first significant internal structure found within the Great Pyramid since the 19th century", are pretty slim.

An worldwide team of researchers identified a large internal cavity at least 30 metres long above the Grand Gallery - a steeply slanted passageway which connects two other chambers, known as the "Queen's Chamber" and the "King's Chamber". The discovery is the result of work from ScanPyramids, an organization led by the HIP Institute and the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University that is dedicated to studying the Pyramids of Egypt using non-invasive techniques.

The Great Pyramids of Egypt have been around for something like 5,000 years now and they've been an endless object of human fascination, so you'd think that after generations and generations of life between then and now, we would have discovered pretty much everything there is to know about these ancient triangular structures.

Last year, the team found a smaller void on the North Face of the pyramid using a new technique called Muography.

"It is big", said co-discoverer Mehdi Tayoubi of the ScanPyramids project.

At present, neither the particle physicists nor the world's Egyptologists have any idea just what goal the Big Void filled, nor what artefacts, if any, maybe sealed inside it.


Muons are made when cosmic rays from deep space hit the atoms of the upper atmosphere. Scientists say the particles penetrate any material that made them the ideal tool to X-ray the pyramid with.

"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.

Tayoubi explains that his team installed sheets of muon-detecting film in a lower-level room of the pyramid known as the Queen's Chamber. The void, according to Lehner and Hawass, could be remnants of such a gap.

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.

To this day, the Egyptian pyramids remain a marvel of engineering with archaeologists still racking their brains to figure out how the ancient Egyptians were able to carry out such an endeavur. However scientists could put additional muon detectors in the king's chamber to try and assess the void from alternate angles.

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