Scientists have found a hidden chamber inside the last surviving ancient wonder of the world, Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza. The 30-meter space, located above the Grand Gallery, is the first discovery of its kind within the iconic pyramid since the 19th century, AP reports.
Researchers are yet to find out if the chamber had a specific purpose or if it was just an empty space. President of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute, Mehdi Tayoubi, explains it could be an additional Grand Gallery. “It could be a chamber, it could be a lot of things.”
The finding was made using cosmic-ray imaging, which examines subatomic particles that penetrate deep into the rock. The results of the discovery, published in the journal Nature, have since been confirmed by other scientists.
Aidan Dodson, an Egyptologist at the University of Bristol, said new construction techniques may be discovered as a result of the new space. “The pyramid’s burial chamber and sarcophagus have already been discovered, so this new area was more likely kept empty above the Grand Gallery to reduce the weight of stone pressing down on its ceiling,” he says.
The team of scientists hope the finding will both highlight the importance of modern physics for archeological research, and renew interest in the Great Pyramid, which was built more than 4,500 years ago.