Image Credit: Encyclopedia Britannica
The oldest and biggest of Egypt’s well-known structures, the Great Pyramid of Giza, has been standing tall for about 4,500 years. The tomb and fortress’ 2 million blocks, however, have not been impenetrable. Scientists have examined the structure’s interiors by examining its corridors or using more sophisticated measuring methods like thermal scanners. The structure was looted of its priceless antiquities thousands of years ago.
Muon imaging in 2016 revealed signals pointing to a secret passageway concealed behind the well-known chevron blocks on the north face of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The following year, the same team discovered what they thought to be a hidden chamber in another part of the pyramid.
According to a recent paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the corridor has now been successfully mapped out for the first time by two independent teams of researchers using two different muon imaging techniques. It was “the most significant discovery of the 21st century,” according to former Egyptian antiquities minister Zahi Hawass.
Muon imaging comes in a variety of forms, but they all typically use gas-filled chambers. As muons race through the gas, they collide with the gas particles and emit a distinctive flash of light, which is captured by the detector and used to determine the energy and trajectory of the particle. It is comparable to X-ray imaging or ground-penetrating radar, but instead of X-rays or radio waves, it makes use of naturally occurring high-energy muons.
Thick images and dense materials, such as the stones used to construct pyramids. That is revealed by the higher energy. The number of muons blocked increases with object density, producing a distinct shadow. As a result of blocking fewer particles, hidden chambers in a pyramid would appear in the final picture.
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Many people looked for more rooms but were unsuccessful. The fact that there are no more blueprints for the construction of the pyramid makes it difficult to know where to look, which is part of the issue. In addition, modern archaeologists are prohibited from using destructive methods to explore the pyramid. The Scan Pyramid Project was established by Mendhi Tayoubi of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute (HIP) to bring together a group of engineers and physicists to map the interior of the pyramid using cosmic radiation and search for empty spaces.
In the course of a three-year period, from 2016 to 2019, two teams installed seven detectors in two of the pyramid’s corridors, which allowed them to catch these muons. It’s possible to tell what kind of material these muons passed through before being detected by looking at the direction in which they crash into the detector. This is how the team found the North Face Corridor and later described its characteristics.
Their calculations reveal that the North Face Corridor is located about 2.6 feet behind the North Face Chevron, an intriguing building just above the current public entrance to the pyramid that serves an as-yet-unknown function. The actual corridor is pipe-shaped, runs horizontally to the ground, and is probably 27 feet long. Additionally, it seems to have a larger cross-section than other corridors in the Great Pyramid, and based on this measurement, it doesn’t seem likely that it connects to the Big Void that the ScanPyramids team previously discovered.
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Scientists working on the Scan Pyramid project even performed an endoscopy-style archaeological examination of the interior using a tiny camera. Sebastien Procureur, a co-author from the University of Paris-Saclay in France, said, “We knew the cavity was there, but of course, it’s totally different when you see it. When we first noticed this, we experienced an odd feeling. The cavity is empty is controversial, but I am glad to see it that way. I didn’t want to be a part of the tomb opening.”