The Great Pyramid may be ancient, but it still has something new to show us. While erosion has reduced its initial 481-foot height to just over 455 feet, the pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for the 3,800 years directly following its construction around 2560 BC.
There were three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid-an unfinished low chamber near the bedrock, as well as the king and queen's chambers, believed to be for Pharaoh Khufu and his wives-until today. The goal was to test whether they could use muons to accurately discern two well-known rooms located above: the King's Chamber and Grand Gallery. There is also an unfinished chamber cut into the bedrock upon which the monument was built.
"We avoid the word chamber because it is not a chamber, but we know that it is a void", said Mehdi Tayoubi, an author of the study from the HIP Institute in France.
The more research is revealed about the Great Pyramid, the more Egyptians' thoroughly natural architectural processes come to light.
In an article published on Thursday by the periodical "Nature", the researchers describe the discovery as a breakthrough in understanding the internal structure of the largest of the pyramids at Giza in Egypt. Muons are by-products of cosmic rays and are only partially absorbed by stone.
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Experts are unsure about the goal of the void-it could have been a burial chamber, another gallery, an architectural anomaly, or simply a sealed-off construction passage.
While future research and non-invasive imaging are to be done by researchers, there are no plans to open up the void given the pyramid's importance and with no known pathways or tunnels connect to it.
Experts are still divided over how it and other pyramids were constructed, so even relatively minor discoveries generate great interest. "The good news is that the void is there, and it's very big", he said.
Muon detection has improved significantly since it was developed in the 1960s, so Tayoubi and his colleagues were able to use three advanced muon-detection techniques-nuclear-emulsion films, hodoscopes, and ardon gas-based detection.
"It's very clear what they found as a void doesn't mean anything at all. I think it's now time for Egyptologists and specialists in ancient Egypt architecture to collaborate with us, to provide us with some hypotheses". Egyptologists banned the use of destructive methods to study the pyramids.