Cosmic Ray Scans of Mystery 'Voids' in Great Pyramid of Giza May Reveal Hidden Burial Chamber

CC0 / / The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.03.2022
The ScanPyramids project ran a series of scans between 2015 and 2017 to analyse cosmic particles regularly falling on Earth to detect any voids. As they peered into the limestone blocks forming the walls of the 140-metre-high tomb they identified hollows nobody knew existed.
An ultra-powerful new scan of the Great Pyramid of Giza using cosmic rays could potentially reveal the mystery behind two voids inside.
The "ScanPyramids" team, an Egyptian-International project designed and led by Cairo University and the French HIP Institute (Heritage Innovation Preservation), discovered the voids between 2015 and 2017. At the time they identified unidentified hollows within the 140-metre-high tomb by using muon tomography, which relies on cosmic rays produced in space to “peer” into things on Earth. However, on this occasion the project that aims to scann Old Kingdom Egyptian Pyramids, such as the Great Pyramid, with a more powerful system.
"We plan to field a telescope system that has upwards of 100 times the sensitivity of the equipment that has recently been used at the Great Pyramid," the team of scientists wrote in a preprint paper published on arXiv.

‘Non-Invasive Investigation

Cosmic rays - high-energy particles hurtling through space – are produced by the Sun, supernovae events outside the Solar System and even the Big Bang.
As they collide with the oxygen and nitrogen molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, they set off a cascade of other particles, some of which reach the ground. These are typically muons - elementary particles, 200 times heavier than an electron. These heavy particles can penetrate dense material without damaging it, unlike X-rays and gamma rays.
The largest of the two voids discovered previously within the Great Pyramid of Giza is located just above the grand gallery. Previous scans have suggested it is about 30 metres long and 6 metres high.
Detectors proposed for the new scan are very large, and shall be placed outside, to be further moved along the base of the pyramid, to “collect muons from all angles in order to build up the required data set," the team wrote in the paper.
"The use of very large muon telescopes placed outside [the Great Pyramid] can produce much higher resolution images due to the large number of detected muons," it was added.
As to whether the void is one large space or several smaller ones, archaeologists are still uncertain.
While it could be that the hollow space played a technical role when the pyramid was being erected, there is also the speculation that it might be the hidden burial chamber of Pharaoh Khufu (reign circa 2551 BCE to 2528 BCE).
Furthermore, the super-sensitive detectors involved in the upcoming project might even reveal the presence of artifacts inside of the voids.
“If a few m3 is filled with material [such as pottery, metals, stone or wood], we should be able to distinguish that from air," co-author of the paper, Alan Bross a scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory was cited by Live Science as saying.
The team has already received approval from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to conduct the scans, but awaits further funding for building and placing the equipment around the Great Pyramid of Giza - the largest pyramid ever constructed in ancient Egypt.
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