Cosmic Particles Could Reveal How The Pyramids Were Built

Video highlights from Pyramids

Experts announce new findings from Egypt’s famous pyramids

In what could be a huge step in unravelling the secrets of the pyramids, Operation Scan Pyramids has revealed new findings that may determine how the pyramids were built and what they contain.

For three months, a team of international scientists has been scanning the Great Pyramid of Khufu and Khafre (both in Giza) and the Bent and Red pyramids (both in Dahshur) to search for hidden chambers.

Today, Operation Scan Pyramids have announced new findings on limestone blocks from The Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Red pyramid.

“There is a clear separation of temperature on the west face of Red pyramid. The bottom is colder than the top,” says Matthieu Klein of Canada’s Laval University.

“It’s interesting. We have no answers yet ... Could it be because of the wind? Maybe, but it’s interesting.”

Additionally, plates planted inside the pyramids have collected data on muons (radiographic particles) that can pass through empty spaces but are absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces.

By studying these particle accumulations, scientists may be able to learn more about how the magnificent structures were built.

The project is expected to run through 2016, utilising a mix of infra-red thermography, 3D reconstruction and muon radiography imaging.

The Great Pyramid Of Khufu

Also known as the North pyramid, the Red pyramid was built by the son of Snefru, it is the highest of all the pyramids. It was expected to be over 146 metres high, before its smooth outer coating was stripped off by carriers in the Middle Ages and as well as the capstone on the top. It is the only one with three chambers staged in its massive stone body: an underground chamber dug 30 metres under its base, abandoned; a second chamber called the Queen’s chamber, whose function remains controversial; and a third chamber called the King’s chamber with an empty sarcophagus, which is the only chamber open to the visitors today. Khufu pyramid was plundered in antiquity. The current access, located ten meters below the original entrance, is also an opening carved by ancient looters. It is traditionally called “Gallery of Al-Mamun”, the name of a caliph who led an exploration of the pyramid in the year 820 AD.

The Red Pyramid

This is the second pyramid built by Snefru at Dahshur. It is located about one kilometer north of the Bent, which would have been abandoned because of its instability. By keeping the 43 ° slope experienced earlier, the builders achieved this time a perfect geometric figure. Its entrance is located on the north face, at a height of twenty-eight meters. A descending corridor gives access to two antechambers. The second one, located exactly in the centre of the pyramid, is overlooking a long passage of seven meters that leads to a single burial chamber.

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay