- author, David Gritten
- roll, BBC News
Egyptian antiquities authorities said they confirmed the existence of a hidden inner passage above the main entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Video footage showed the interior of the corridor, which is 9 meters long and 2.1 meters wide.
Authorities say the corridor could have been created to redistribute the pyramid’s weight around a doorway or another yet-to-be-discovered chamber.
The trail was first discovered in 2016 using an imaging technique called radiography.
A team of scientists from the ScanPyramids project was able to determine density changes inside the pyramid by analyzing how muons, which are by-products of cosmic rays, are only partially absorbed by stone.
The non-invasive technique revealed an empty space behind the north face of the Great Pyramid, about seven meters above the main entrance, in an area where there is a chevron stone structure.
Further testing with radar and ultrasound was carried out before a six-millimeter-wide endoscope was passed through a small joint between the stones that make up the chevrons.
The footage was revealed at a press conference next to the pyramid on Thursday (2/3). The photos show an empty corridor with walls made of roughly hewn stone blocks and a vaulted stone ceiling.
“We will continue our campaign to see what we can find under it or at the end of this corridor,” said Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The Great Pyramid, 146 meters high, was built on the Giza Plateau during the Fourth Dynasty by Pharaoh Khufu, or Khufu, who ruled from approximately 2609 BC to 2584 BC.
Despite being one of the largest and oldest monuments on Earth, there is no consensus on how it was built.
Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass said the passage represented a “major discovery” that would “enter the homes and homes of people all over the world for the first time”.
He also claimed that it could help reveal whether King Khufu’s burial chamber was still located inside the pyramid.
He speculated that there could be “something important” in the space under the portico, and added, “I’m sure in a few months we’ll be able to tell whether or not what I’m saying is true.”
A second, larger empty space inside the pyramid was discovered using radiographs in 2017.
It is estimated to be 30 meters long and several meters high, and is located directly above the Great Gallery.
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