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Scientists reveal secret corridor in Egypt’s Great Pyramid, mapped with cosmic rays

The corridor is nine meters long and could reveal more findings on the construction of the pyramids.

Scientists reveal secret corridor in Egypt’s Great Pyramid, mapped with cosmic rays
[Source photo: Image for representation purpose only | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

A recent discovery in the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt could tell us more about the construction of the pyramid and the purpose of a gabled limestone structure in front of the corridor.

On Thursday, a team of scientists from the Scan Pyramids project by the Egyptian Tourism Ministry of Antiquities, using cosmic-ray muon radiography, a non-destructive technique ideal for investigating large-scale structures, discovered a hidden corridor nine meters long. It is located above the main entrance of Khufu’s Pyramid, one of the world’s largest archaeological monuments, and still holds many mysteries. 

Since 2015, the team has been using non-invasive technology, including infrared thermography, 3D simulations, and cosmic ray imaging, to peer inside the structure to look at unexplored sections of the monument. 

Cosmic-ray muon radiography involves tracking the levels of muons passing through the pyramid, followed by researchers using muon detectors placed across various points around the pyramid to retrieve images with an endoscope camera.  

Five years ago, the Scan Pyramids team reported several discoveries using cosmic-ray muons in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Among these discoveries, a corridor-shaped structure has been observed behind the so-called Chevron zone on the North face. A dedicated study of this structure was necessary to better understand its function in relation to Chevron’s enigmatic architectural role. 

The Great Pyramid was built around 2560 BC during the reign of the pharaoh Khufu. The pyramid is the last of the ancient world’s seven wonders. Built to a height of 146 meters and now standing at 139 meters, it was the tallest manmade structure until the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1889. 

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