A new technology has revealed a hidden 30-meter deep chamber inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, Nature Magazine published on Thursday.
The peer-reviewed scientific article suggests the first major discovery in the structure – also known as Cheops Pyramid – since the 1800s. Scientists believe the void has been hidden since the construction of the structure approximately 4,500 years ago (2509 to 2483 BC). Giza is the last remaining of the ancient wonders of the world.
For the moment, the function of the void is unknown.
The article is signed by a team of Japanese, Egyptian, and French scientists. Their joint ScanPyramids project is founded on a new technology based on cosmic ray imaging, which resembles x-rays, except it can penetrate deeper rocks. In a statement to National Geographic, Egyptologist Yukinori Kawae called this the “discovery of the century.”
The void revealed is above the well-known structure of the Grand Gallery that is visited by thousands of tourists and has a similar cross-section.
In a statement of the Al Ahram newspaper, Egyptologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass suggests that the discovery of the void is not new. He suggests that an earlier publication by Dieter Arnold (Building in Egypt: Pharaonic Stone Masonry) had discussed the existence of several voids within the structure.
A void in the structure is not necessarily a room, Hawass noted, adding that the team should refrain from seeking attention by references to hidden chambers and passages.