2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
Internal structure of the pyramid
An international team of researchers has confirmed the presence of a hidden camera in the Cheops pyramid. It is located above the Great Gallery and reaches a length of about 30 meters. The article was published in the journal Nature.
The pyramid of Cheops was created about 4, 5 thousand years ago during the reign of the IV ancient Egyptian dynasty. It was erected by order of Pharaoh Khufu, better known as Cheops. For a long time, the pyramid remained the tallest building in the world - its height reaches 139 meters, and the width at the base is 250 meters. Despite the fact that it is one of the largest and oldest historical monuments on Earth, there is still no consensus on how it was built.
Today, there are three burial chambers inside the Cheops pyramid - an unfinished burial "pit", "King's Chamber" where an empty granite sarcophagus is located, and "Queen's Chamber". The Great Gallery leads to the pharaoh's chamber - a high inclined tunnel 46.6 meters long. Last year, archaeologists also said they were able to find two voids - one of them is located above the Great Gallery, and the other, dubbed the Northern Corridor, is located above the modern entrance to the pyramid. However, some scientists have expressed doubts about the reliability of the find, believing that some parts of the pyramid could have been made from a different type of stones.
The ScanPyramids project participants who discovered the voids continued to study them to confirm the discovery. They reported on the results in a new article. The researchers conducted three independent experiments based on the method of muon tomography. Muons are unstable elementary particles that are born when cosmic rays collide with atomic nuclei and the subsequent decay of mesons. Muon flux is able to penetrate the walls of buildings - however, air retains fewer muons than, for example, concrete blocks. If we put a muon detector next to the building, which will register the number and trajectory of particles, then in fact we will get an "X-ray" of its internal structure. You can read more about muon tomography, as well as its use, in our material "Fallen from the Sky".
In the first experiment, the researchers used a nuclear photographic emulsion to capture muons. The detectors were installed back in 2015 in the southwest corner of the Queen's Chamber and the adjacent corridor. The results of scattering muon radiography showed that there is a 30-meter camera above the Great Gallery. The second experiment using scintillator hodoscopes (KEK), which was carried out already in 2016 and 2017, confirmed the results of the first group of researchers. The third team of scientists received a signal with a reliability of 5.8 sigma - that is, the probability that physicists made a mistake is extremely small (less than a percent).
The center of the chamber is located at a height of 40-50 meters above the floor of the "Queen's Chamber"; the length of the "big void", as the authors of the article call it, is comparable to the Great Gallery. Researchers do not know the exact characteristics of the chamber - it may turn out to be a sloping corridor or a room consisting of several rooms. Future research will help clarify this.
Archaeologists make many interesting discoveries during expeditions to Egypt. Thus, the researchers managed to find the most ancient "monumental" hieroglyphs, funerary gardens, as well as the tomb of the royal scribe. In addition, an ancient harbor and an archive of papyri were discovered in the Red Sea - you can read about the finds in the blog on our website.