Cosmic Rays Reveal Hidden 'Void' Chamber in Great Pyramid of Giza

Thursday, 02 November 2017 - 10:32AM
Thursday, 02 November 2017 - 10:32AM
Cosmic Rays Reveal Hidden 'Void' Chamber in Great Pyramid of Giza
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Image Credit: ScanPyramids Mission

The great pyramid of Giza just got even more mysterious. 

Egypt's pyramids are masterpieces of engineering. The largest of these structures, the Great Pyramid of Giza, has been examined and explored by countless experts, archeologists, invaders, tourists, and locals over the many years since its construction.

By this point, we assumed that all the good treasure had already been plundered and that all the important artifacts that once resided within the pyramid had long since been removed.

But in the field of Egyptian archeology, nothing is ever that simple - even in one of the biggest, boldest, most noteworthy architectural achievements in the history of humanity, there are still a few mysteries yet to be solved.

Scientists examining the Great Pyramid of Giza have been using advanced cosmic ray technology to uncover hidden secrets, and they think they might (might) have found evidence of a possible secret chamber within the structure that's remained dormant for millennia.

Whether or not there's Stargate waiting inside remains to be seen, but when you're dealing with cosmic rays and ancient Egyptian architecture, it's probably wise to be ready for anything.

As far back as the 1960s, physicists and archeologists have theorized about the possibility of bombarding the pyramids and other ancient structures with cosmic radiation in order to get a better sense of what lies within their walls. Muology involves using muons (particles that can pass through solid objects) to test objects and buildings for pockets of empty space within otherwise impenetrable walls.

The technique is now one of many that modern archeologists are able to rely on to help them investigate ancient sites, and now, scientists have been able to use muology to get a good look at the insides of the walls of the Great Pyramid.

According to a new study that has been conducted on the pyramid:

Opening quote
"Similar to X-rays which can penetrate the body and allow bone imaging, these elementary particles can keep a quasi-linear trajectory while going through hundreds of meters of stone before decaying or being absorbed."
Closing quote

The application of cosmic rays to the walls of the pyramid has paid off. Archeologists believe they might have spotted an unexplained cavity that exists independent of any known corridors and walkways.

Essentially, it appears that during the construction of the Great Pyramid (which occurred layer-by-layer, like an enormous slave-powered 3D printer), the builders may have included a secure room that can't be accessed from outside, for reasons unknown.

It's important to note that, sensational as this news may sound, archeologists are hesitant to pronounce this as a major breakthrough until a more thorough investigation is undertaken.

The thought of buried Egyptian treasure within the most iconic landmark in ancient history may be enough to make some people eager to start hacking at the walls of the Great Pyramid, but according to Kathlyn M. Cooney, associate professor of Ancient Egyptian Art and the University of California Los Angeles, the last thing we want to do is start recklessly damaging such an important historic building in a mad dash for exciting new artifacts.

Opening quote
"We need to stop rushing archaeological discoveries that don't need to be rushed and push scientists to make declarations about discoveries that aren't yet proven. It's important to remember the old adage, 'archaeology is destructive,' and realize that the next generation will be able to do it better."
Closing quote

If archeology experts like Cooney have their way, it may be a long time before we get any answers about what might be hidden within the walls of the Great Pyramid. Patience will reap better results, as new, more advanced methods of scanning the walls will be developed over time, ensuring that we don't unnecessarily damage such an important piece of human history.

Besides, it's exciting knowing that there's still at least one big mystery to solve with a pyramid that's been around for so long. All the budding Indiana Jones and Lara Crofts of the world can dream of being the first to uncover ancient hidden treasure in the Great Pyramid.

Like presents on Christmas morning, sometimes the anticipation of opening a mysterious package is better than actually discovering what's hidden inside.

Science News
Cosmic Rays Discover 'Void' Chamber in Great Pyramid of Giza