Though they have existed for millennia, exactly how the ancient Egyptians constructed their infamous pyramids has been an object of speculation for almost as long as they've existed. Now, a team of scientists at Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute and other institutions think that cosmic particles might have something to do with how the burial structures were designed — and are analyzing actual particles housed inside a 4,600-year-old pyramid to figure out one of antiquity's greatest mysteries.
Researcher Mehdi Tayoubi told the Associated Press that the team of scientists placed plates inside of the Bent Pyramid built by the Old Kingdom pharoah Snefru — the first-known tomb that the Egyptians attempted to construct in a pyramidal style like the pyramids at Giza — to attract and gather muons, i.e., radiographic particles that, like electrons, are electrically-charged.
Why collect these particles? They might be responsible for thermal anomalies within the interior of the pyramid — the same kind of inconsistencies recorded at the Pyramids of Giza. Even though the scientists aren't sure as to what the significance of these temperature imbalances are, figuring them out might be the first step to unlocking how the monolithic wonders came to be.
"For the construction of the pyramids, there is no single theory that is 100 percent proven or checked; they are all theories and hypotheses," said Hany Helal, vice president of the Preservation Institute.
"What we are trying to do with the new technology, we would like to either confirm or change or upgrade or modify the hypotheses that we have on how the pyramids were constructed," added Tayoubi. "Even if we find one square meter void somewhere, it will bring new questions and hypotheses and maybe it will help solve the definitive questions."
Photo: a rancid amoeba | Flickr