By Agata Tylki
Archeologists have discovered a giant void inside one of the Pyramids of Giz – Khufu’s Pyramid. This structure is thought to have been constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu between 2509 and 2483 BC.
The pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years, and is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Launched in October 2015, the ScanPyramids mission has been looking through the stones with non-invasive technologies such as infrared thermography, muography and 3D simulations to detect unknown inner structures.
First in October 2016, they discovered the North Face Corridor (SP-NFC) void. After that, their mission became well known which resulted in collaborations with research teams from Nagoya University in Japan.
Muons emulsion films were positioned inside the descending corridor and Al-Mamun’s tunnel to confirm SP-NFC’s finding. After all previous findings had been affirmed, it was revealed that this void that looks like a corridor has been hidden behind the chevrons of the North face for centuries.
Later in March 2017, another anomaly had been revealed under the efforts of Nagoya University’s research teams. Positing muons emulsion films inside the Queen’s Chamber, a big void was found right above the Grand Gallery.
Another muography technique from KEK-Japan also took position in the Queen’s Chamber, resulting in identical conclusion drawn by both discovery teams.
The muons travel at close to the speed of light and behave much like x-rays when they meet objects. But while it lets scientists to look inside the pyramid without drilling holes or causing other damage, it produces low resolution images.
Fortunately, the void is so massive that it has also been detected by the CEA’s muons telescopes from outside. All of the used techniques confirmed the void area above the Grand Gallery; officially revealing the ScanPyramids Big Void minimum length to be 30 m with localization between 50 m and 70 m from the ground.
“We don’t know whether this big void is horizontal or inclined; we don’t know if this void is made by one structure or several successive structures,” explained Mehdi Tayoubi from the HIP Institute, Paris. The ScanPyramid team claims that its cross-section is similar to that of the Grand Gallery. This is the biggest founding in the pyramid since the nineteenth century. But not only scientists paid attention to this discovery.
Game developers took huge interest in these mysterious chambers, creating such as the like of Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed Origins game, where players can visit the mysterious chambers of Giz, or at least its digital representation. The game is the most realistic re-creation of olden Egypt ever made in the virtual world. Maxime Durand, historian on the Assassin’s Creed franchise, says that “we were betting on the fact that these secret locations inside of the Great Pyramid would probably be discovered in the near future, so we wanted to allow players the chance to visit them in advance.”