Egypt breakthrough: New Great Pyramid scan tipped to expose Khufu’s hidden chamber

Egypt: Explorers find 'strange door' under Great Pyramid of Giza

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Experts are poised to use cosmic rays to produce a new ultra-powerful scan of the 4,500-year-old monument. It will allow them to analyse muons – negatively-charged particles that form when cosmic rays collide with atoms in Earth’s atmosphere – in greater detail. These particles behave differently when they interact with stone, compared to air.

It will help researchers to map what is hiding inside two mysterious areas of the Great Pyramid.

The experts wrote in their new proposal: “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.

“Since the detectors that are proposed are very large, they cannot be placed inside the pyramid, therefore our approach is to put them outside and move them along the base.

“In this way, we can collect muons from all angles in order to build up the required data set.

“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.”

The ScanPyramids project was launched a few years ago to provide several non-invasive techniques to provide a better understanding of its structure.

It made a breakthrough in 2016 when it uncovered a small, previously unknown cavity in the north face of the pyramid.

One year later, experts announced the discovery of the “Big Void”, a 30-metre previously unknown space located above the Grand Gallery.

This led to great excitement at the time as some speculate that the passageway may lead to the hidden chamber of the pharaoh Khufu.

The pyramid is believed to have been constructed for the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh, but his body has never been recovered.

But not everyone is convinced.

Egyptologist Dr Chris Naunton previously told “This new technique has the potential to show us interesting things.

“But, the response from colleagues of mine, who know these pyramids very well, was, ‘we’ve always known cavities exist’.

“It’s exciting, but it doesn’t take our understanding very far.

“We could speculate until the cows come home over what they might be, but there’s no way of proving it at the moment.”

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Dr Naunton believed the best solution for the problem is to use a fibre-optic camera – a minute piece of technology that can be put through a small gap to peer inside – rather than more scans.

He added: “All of this fuses the fire, and it gets us all very excited, but when it comes to explaining what a cavity is, somebody like me is going to have to go in there and read an inscription.

“Would it be possible to put a fibre-optic camera through the wall and see what’s behind there? That seems to me to be a possibility.

“It might even be possible to do that without causing too much damage to the wall, which has been extensively restored already.”

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