Assen Ammar / AP
CAIRO – Egypt’s antiquities authorities on Thursday unveiled a newly discovered, sealed chamber inside one of the Great Pyramids of Giza, outside Cairo, that dates back some 4,000 years.
Corridor – in the northern part of the Pyramid of Khufu – was discovered using modern technology. Measuring nearly 30 feet long and over 6 feet wide, it sits above the gate of the pyramid.
Archaeologists do not know what the function of the room was because it is not accessible from the outside. In 2017, scientists announced the discovery of another sealed corridor, a 30-meter chamber — or about 98 feet — also inside the Pyramid of Khufu.
Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass and the country’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed Eissa announced the discovery Thursday in a ceremony unveiled outside the pyramid. The Scan Pyramids project, an international program that uses surveys to look at unexplored sections of ancient structures, is credited with the discovery.
Scientists from the project, which began in 2015, attended the unveiling.
According to Christian Grosse, Professor of Non-Destructive Testing at the Technical University of Munich and a key member of the project, various scanning techniques have been developed to locate the room, including ultrasound measurements and ground-penetrating radars. He hopes to draw these skills to further discoveries within the pyramid.
“There are two large stones at the end of the room, and now the question is what is behind these stones and below the room,” Grosse said.
The Pyramid of Khufu – named after the Fourth Dynasty Pharaoh, who reigned from 2509 to 2483 BC – is one of the three pyramids that make up the Great Pyramid of Giza complex. The Egyptian pyramids are the only one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World that have remained to this day.
How pyramids are constructed experts are divided, even smaller inventions generate relatively large benefits. Authorities often publicly tout the findings to attract more tourists, a major source of foreign currency for this cash-strapped Middle East region.
Egypt’s tourism sector has suffered a long turnaround after the turmoil and political violence that followed the 2011 uprising that ousted the country’s long-time autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, and further setbacks following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
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