Mysterious void between two chambers in Great Pyramid of Giza discovered

Posted November 03, 2017

According to Nature, the large, previously unknown "big void" inside the Great Pyramid is the first major interior structure found there in well over a century.

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".

What lies in the middle of the structure has been subject to debate for years as researchers were unable to get a look inside.

Archeologists already knew the pyramid, built for Egyptian pharoah Khufu more than 4,000 years ago, contained two burial chambers and a grand gallery. "It is not accessible and we needed this new technique, at the right time, to identify and to discover it", Mehdi Tayoubi, a co-founder of the HIP Institute and a researcher with ScanPyrmids, told reporters.

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The goal of the space is unclear, and it is not yet known whether it was built with a function in mind or if it is merely a gap in the pyramid's architecture.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, was built by Pharaoh Khufu, who ruled from 2509 to 2483 B.C. The pyramid is 140 meters tall and consists of three main rooms- the entrance hall, the king's chamber and the queen's chamber. Muons (elementary particles similar to electrons) originate from collisions between cosmic rays and atoms in the upper atmosphere. The particles function like x-rays but can penetrate stone hundreds of meters thick.

Detectors were set up inside the Pyramid, including in the so-called Queen's Chamber.

"The good news is the void is there". The void, according to Lehner and Hawass, could be remnants of such a gap.

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"It's very clear what they found as a void doesn't mean anything at all".

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. "But we need more of a focus on it, especially in a day and age when we can no longer go blasting our way through the pyramid with gunpowder as [British] Egyptologist Howard Vyse did in the early 1800s".

"The Great Pyramid is full of voids".

Hany Helal of Cairo University, coordinator of the ScanPyramids project, put the open question to the academic community: "We open the question to Egyptologists and archaeologists: what could it be?"

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