A previously hidden corridor buried deep within Egypt’s 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid of Giza has been mapped in detail for the first time, and researchers have also been able to get a glimpse inside using an endoscopic camera.
The cloister was first discovered in 2016, but researchers didn’t want to damage it to access the monument. The pyramid is the only surviving wonder of the ancient world and for thousands of years was the world’s tallest man-made structure at 146 meters. It was built around 2560 BC during the reign of King Khufu.
Using a technique called cosmic ray muon radiography, developed by scholars at Nagoya University in Japan, an international team of researchers confirmed that the corridor is 9 meters long and about 2 meters by 2 meters in cross section. I was able to do.
Cosmic-ray muon radiography tracks the levels of muons passing through the pyramids. These particles are a natural form of radiation resulting from cosmic rays and constantly bombard the Earth’s surface. In this technique, researchers use muon detectors placed at various locations around the monument. Muons are partially absorbed by the stones used to build the pyramids. In other words, this method allows researchers to identify cavities within structures.
This approach has been used to map the internal structure of pyramids since 1971when first used at Giza.
Using precise maps of the corridor, researchers identified opportunities. “We found it close enough to the surface that an endoscopy was possible,” he said. Sebastian Procurer at the University of Paris-Saclay, France.
They inserted a small camera similar to those used in medical procedures to get a glimpse of the hallway for the first time in thousands of years.
“We knew there was a cavity there, but of course it’s completely different when you see it in person,” says Procureur. “We felt weird when we saw this.”
Still, the Procureur was happy about one thing. “It’s a controversial opinion, but I’m relieved that the cavity was empty. I didn’t want to participate in opening the tomb.”