Scientists have discovered a secret tunnel in the Great Pyramid of Giza

CAIRO: Egyptian antiquities officials said on Thursday that they had discovered a hidden corridor that was nine meters (30 feet) long close to the main entrance of the 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid of Giza. This could lead to additional discoveries.

The Scan Pyramids project, which has been using non-invasive technology like infrared thermography, 3D simulations, and cosmic-ray imaging to peer inside the structure since 2015, made the discovery within the pyramid, which is the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing.

The discovery could help clarify the pyramid’s construction and the purpose of the gabled limestone structure in front of the corridor, according to an article in Nature on Thursday.

On March 2, 2023, tourists visit the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) at the Giza Pyramids necropolis on the southwestern edge of Cairo.—AFP The Great Pyramid was built as a massive tomb around 2560 BC during the reign of the Pharaoh Khufu, or Cheops. It was built to a height of 146 meters, or 479 feet, and is now 139 meters tall. Before the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1889, it was the tallest building built by humans.

Tourists visit the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) at the Giza Pyramids necropolis on the southwestern outskirts of Cairo, on March 2, 2023.—AFP

According to Mostafa Waziri

Head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the unfinished corridor was likely constructed to redistribute the weight of the pyramid around either the main entrance, which is now used by tourists and is almost seven meters away, or another chamber or space that has not yet been discovered.

He told reporters at a news appearance in front of the pyramid, “We’re going to continue our scanning so we can see what we can do… to figure out what we can discover under it, or just by the end of this hallway.”

It is also believed that the massive pyramid’s five rooms on top of the king’s burial chamber in another section were built to distribute the weight. Waziri went on to say that the pharaoh might have been buried in more than one chamber.

Before feeding a 6mm-thick endoscope from Japan through a tiny joint in the stones of the pyramid, scientists used cosmic-ray muon radiography to find the corridor.

The first significant inner structure discovered since the 19th century was revealed in 2017 by Scan Pyramids researchers as a 30-meter-long void inside the Great Pyramid.

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