Using various scanning technologies, researchers have found two inexplicable voids.
The Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt, has long been rumored to contain hidden passageways leading to secret chambers. Now a team of researchers has confirmed the 4,500-year-old pharaonic mausoleum contains two unknown cavities, possibly hiding a corridor-like structure and more mysterious features.
Engineer Glen Dash of the Glen Dash Research Foundation and Egyptologist Mark Lehner of Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) took new measurements of the Great Pyramid of Giza to try to determine its original size and orientation. The 4,500-year-old pyramid, constructed for the pharaoh Khufu, is the largest of the three pyramids on the Giza Plateau, but most of its smooth limestone casing was removed and reused in antiquity. The scientists looked for surviving casing stones on the pyramid’s platform, and marks that suggest where the edges of the casing stones once rested. They found 84 points along the original edges and marked them on a grid system developed by AERA to map the Giza Plateau. Statistical analysis of the new measurements indicate the west side is longer than the east by between 0.25 and 5.6 inches to a 95% probability, with the best estimate of the error being 2.9 inches. “The base is not quite square,” Dash told Live Science. He suspects that the pyramid builders laid the structure out on a grid oriented on the cardinal directions, with just a slight degree of error. Additional research could reveal how the ancient Egyptians accomplished this feat.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the most impressive structures in the world, but it also has a small design flaw. It’s lopsided. The good news? That flaw could help us figure out how humans managed to build such a complicated structure with only simple tools.
They say it is 30 percent less heavy than has long been accepted, based on a re-evaluation of data taken nearly half a century ago that suggests the density of the pyramid’s interior is actually that much lower.
“Our study shows the blocks of stone that had to be transported were relatively light for their size,” said Michinori Oshiro, a professor of Egyptology at Komazawa University in Tokyo, who was part of a study team that includes Hiroyuki Tanaka, a professor of particle physics at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute.
“That could change part of the established theory, such as how long it took to build it,” Oshiro said.