Cosmic rays used to unearth hidden chamber in Great Pyramid of Giza

Researchers discovered a hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza using cosmic rays. The Scan Pyramid project which used the muon tomography method made the discovery without harming the structure.

FILE PHOTO: Tourists visit the Pyramid of Khufu, the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt on March 2, 2016. Reuters

Scientists have found a large mysterious cavity inside the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt using imaging methods based on cosmic rays. However, they are still confused about the purpose, contents or the dimensions of the void which was built in the monumental tomb during 2560 BC.

According to the study published in journal Nature, the scientists used muon tomography, an imaging technique which tracks particles that bombards the earth. The particles, which then penetrate into solid objects at light-like speeds, were used to detect the inner structure of the pyramid. Detectors placed inside the internal structure of the pyramid helped to identify the chamber which was above the Grand Gallery, the path to other known chambers.

The Great Pyramid was believed to contain three large interior chambers and several passages. Scientists believe that the newly discovered void chamber had more than 100 feet (30 m) length, and is located at a distance of 155 feet (47 m) above the Grand Gallery, the 47 meters long and 8 meter high passage.

Mehdi Tayoubi of HIP Institute in France who led the study, explained: "What we are sure about is that this big void is there, that it is impressive, that it was not expected b, as far as I know, any kind of theory... We open the question to Egyptologists and archaeologists: what could it be?"

The Great Pyramid of Giza, the only surviving structure among seven wonders of the ancient world, is believed to have been built by the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu or Cheops. These ancient tombs supposedly had paths to the underworld.

The Scan Pyramid project used non-invasive scanning methods to scan the structures inside the Pyramids to avoid any potential damage on the pyramid. This monument is a popular tourist attraction of Egypt and has a significant position in the country's history.