The Egyptian Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Despite being 4,500 years old, the magnificent structure never ceases to amaze us. Scientists have recently discovered a hidden corridor in the pyramid, a passage that has not been seen by humans in thousands of years. The released news of a deep stone passageway—announced in both Nature Communications and by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities—suggests more may be discovered using advanced technology.
There are many passages inside the pyramid, but the recently discovered one was by scientists from Scan Pyramids in 2016. They used a non-invasive imaging technology called muography. A muon is a sub-atomic particle that moves at almost the speed of light and can be produced and used to penetrate stone. Where the particle did not fully get absorbed indicated an empty space just behind the northern face of the pyramid. On the outside of the pyramid, a stone chevron structure is nearby. The team followed up with radar and ultrasound.
Eventually, an endoscope (a thin, tube-like scope often used in medicine) 0.24 inches thick was inserted through the stones of the external chevron design. The camera sent back a live feed of a stone corridor with a vaulted ceiling that has lain unseen for thousands of years. A presentation of the footage was arranged with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities outside the pyramid. “We're going to continue our scanning so we will see what we can do… to figure out what we can find out beneath it, or just by the end of this corridor,” said Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. He also explained that the unfinished corridor could have served to redistribute the pyramid's weight around nearby open spaces and passages.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, at a whopping 449.5 feet tall, was the resting place of the powerful Fourth Dynasty King Khufu and his queen, Henutsen. Despite ample exploration, much may remain to be discovered within this enormous tomb. Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass suggested there might be “something important” below the corridor, but this remains to be seen on further examination of the mysterious corridor and adjacent structures.