Peering deep inside the Great Pyramids of Giza allowed scientists to make interesting new discoveries, among which two voids or cavities have sparked the intrigue of the scientific community.
Discovering a subject of scientific interest, the team of scientists used high-tech mugraphy and thermal imaging, along with 3D scanning techniques in order to map the interior of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. This was part of a collaboration between the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and a host of international tech companies and universities.
The screening technique consists of muons, charged particles similar to electrons, which are believed to be highly penetrative and absorbed by stone, which makes the screening process more complicated. Muon-sensitive plates were used to reflect images from inside the pyramid. Their results suggested "voids" in the construction.
The pyramid is known as the oldest and largest of the three on the plateau, and scientists assume its building took almost two decades, which places its building completion sometime around 2560 B.C. The pyramid is now the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu.
The pyramid is 146 meters high and known to be the largest man-made structure until the 1300s, and its first exploration took place in 820. The caliph, Abdullah al Mamun, tunneled into it until finding one of its inner passages.
"Today we still see the remains of those chevrons and oblique stones which most probably are parts of propped missing chevrons covering a kind of void that might have existed before stones were dismantled," explains the study.
However, according to the team of scientists, as the pyramid is a giant of solid stone, it's quite complicated to get an exhaustive view of its inside. They also dismissed the hypothesis of hidden chambers, as their study leaves a number of questions unanswered.
While the construction is still a subject of scientific mystery, the research sheds new light on its anatomy. Since this was the first time in history when three complementary techniques were used for its interior scanning, the cavities found at a height of 105 meters from the ground are definitely notable. The void observed by the team of scientists is still to be analyzed, and further research will examine its use, shape and extension.
"In ancient architecture, chevrons were not used for decoration, but they have had a very practical purpose: to protect a void and prevents the roof from collapsing. The question posed here was: why so many chevrons are put to protect such a small area at the beginning of the descending corridor," the research concludes.