Researching since 2016
Already in 2016, measurements had given reason to suppose the existence of a hidden hollow space in the vicinity of the chevron blocks – a heraldic symbol in the shape of a compass – above the entrance.
Ultrasound and endoscopy
Now, scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have used ultrasound and endoscopy to make an important contribution to confirming this assumption. The status of the Egyptian pyramid as one of the best-researched structures in the world makes this finding especially important.
The largest and oldest of the pyramids of Giza
The Pyramid of Cheops is considered the largest and oldest of the pyramids of Giza. As part of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it has been thoroughly explored; however, the structure still holds many secrets to be discovered. TUM researchers have solved one more of the pyramid’s mysteries.
About the original pyramid entrance
As part of the international research team «ScanPyramids», Munich scientists have demonstrated the existence of a hollow chamber that had so far only been proposed on the basis of measurement data. The hollow space is located above the original entrance of the pyramid, which is not accessible to the public.
Looking inside the stone blocks
In 2016 several measurements by Japanese and French researchers provided evidence for the existence of the chamber. The TUM research group has been on board since 2019, helping to explore the pyramid for hidden structures. They use several non-destructive testing methods that allow them to look inside the stone blocks and the areas behind them.
«The pyramids are a World Heritage Site. This means that we have to be especially careful when conducting our investigations not to damage anything. We are working on the Cheops pyramid with radar and ultrasonic measuring devices that can be used non-destructively and, in part, even contact-free,» says Professor Christian Grosse, Professor of Non-Destructive Testing at TUM, in a statement.
Discovering a hollow space in a pyramid is already something special. But the fact that this chamber is large enough to hold several people, well, that makes the discovery even more important,» says Prof. Grosse.
Higher than expected
The chamber is larger than researchers had assumed in the past. Originally measured data pointed to the existence of a corridor at least five meters long; however, according to initial estimates, the length of the chamber far exceeds this length.
No one has entered it in the last 4,500 years.
There are no footprints or other signs of human activity inside the chamber. Therefore, the research group assumes that no one has seen this room in the last 4,500 years or so.
Determining the former purpose of the newly discovered chamber and what is hidden behind the back wall will require further investigation. The confirmed findings highlight the need for further investigation of the Egyptian pyramids and, in particular, the value of the new approach using a combination of various technologies and testing procedures.