Inside Giza’s Great Pyramid, Scientists Discover A Hidden Chamber; Greatest Discovery Involving Giza Pyramid Since 19th Century

Inside Giza’s Great Pyramid, Scientists Discover A Hidden Chamber; Greatest Discovery Involving Giza Pyramid Since 19th Century

     In an announcement that stunned archaeologists, historians, and millions worldwide, Egyptian authorities announced this week that a secret/hidden chamber had been discovered in Egypt”s Great Pyramid of Giza.  Built during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu some 4,500 years ago, has long enthralled all of us ever since.  How did the Egyptians build something this monumental, with such specificity, and elegance — all those thousands of years ago.  As Nicholas St. Ffleur wrote in the November 2, 2017 edition of the New York Times, “for centuries, archaeologists have ventured into the Pyramid of Khufu, as it [Giza] is also known, and marveled at the Kings Chamber, the Queen’s Chamber, and the Grand Gallery.  Now, using a technique from the field of particle physics, an international team of researchers has harnessed cosmic-ray collisions to peek inside; and, uncover a hidden “void” within the pyramid’s stones [belly], that is roughly 100 feet long, similar to the Statue of Liberty — from her heel to her head.”

     “We don’t know if it’s a chamber, a tunnel, a big gallery, or things like that,” said Mehdi Tayoubi, Co-Director of the ScanPyramids Project, which published its findings Thursday [November 2, 2017] in the Journal Nature.  “We have chosen the word ‘void,’ and nothing else — because we don’t know what this void is,” he added.          

     For those of you full of excitement about what may lie in this hidden chamber, it is a good idea to curb your enthusiasm.  Best to be surprised than disappointed.  Indeed, Mr. St. Fleur writes that many archaeologists believe the “so-called void is probably an empty space, designed by the pyramid’s architects to lessen the weight on its chambers; and, prevent them from collapsing, an example of features that were already documented in the construction of the ancient monuments.”  Marc Lehner, an Egyptologist, from Ancient Egypt Research Associates, told the New York Times that “previous work had shown that the ancient Egyptians most likely constructed gaps in  their pyramids;” and these recently discovered voids are not likely anything special, or new.  “The great pyramid of Khufu, is more Swiss cheese than cheddar;” and, the steep incline of the void casts doubts on whether it was some sort of room.  “At that angle, it doesn’t make much sense for it to be a chamber that would contain artifacts, burials, and objects, and that sort of thing.”  Harry Pettit, writing on the November 2, 2017 online edition of the DailyMailOnline, notes that “researchers suggest it could be a ‘construction gap,’ — part of a trench that allowed workers to access the Grand Gallery, and the King’s Chamber, while the rest of the pyramid was being built.”

     Sigh.  This hidden void may be more akin to the 1986 opening of Al Capone’s vault than any hidden treasures.  For those of you who don’t know, or weren’t around then, in 1986, this was the scene of the now infamous 2-hour, live television special, “The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults,” whereby media personality Geraldo Rivera opened a secret vault in the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, that once belonged to perhaps the most famous gangster of all-time, Al Capone.  After building excitement for weeks about what treasures might be contained in this secret vault that belonged to Al Capone, the only thing discovered in the vault was dirt, and some empty bottles, including one that Mr. Rivera claimed once likely contained moonshine bathtub gin.  Needless to say, the episode, which was the most highly watched television program for that year — some 30 million viewers — was a big disappointment.  So, let’s not get our hopes up too much with this newly discovered hidden void or chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza.  V/R, RCP

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