Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the wonders of the world, and a mysterious and dazzling feat of architectural genius contains a hidden void at least a hundred feet long, scientists announced.
The space’s dimensions resemble those of the pyramid’s Grand Gallery, the 153-foot-long, 26-foot-tall corridor that leads to the burial chamber of Khufu, the pharaoh for whom the pyramid was built.
Thanks to the use of muon radiography, a technique that uses cosmic rays to detect cavities in massive structures, scientists have discovered a large, previously unknown opening within the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The cavity has a cross section similar to the Grand Gallery, the major corridor running through the pyramid, and is at least a hundred feet long.
The findings mark the latest in a millennia-long quest to understand the Great Pyramid of Giza, long an object of mystery and intrigue.
The pyramid was built some 4,500 years ago during the Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom. At that time, Egypt was a powerful, highly centralized monarchy, wealthy from trade and Nile-nourished agriculture.
The Great Pyramid is arguably the ultimate expression of that power. The pharaoh Khufu, who reigned from 2509 to 2483 B.C., built for himself a pyramid whose base spreads across more than 13 acres and originally towered more than 146 feet tall. The monument consists of about 2.3 million limestone blocks, which had to be quarried, transported, cut to size, and moved into place.