“Scanning work will continue to uncover more secrets.”
CAIRO, Egypt – A nine-meter-long hidden passage was discovered inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt’s Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa announced Thursday.
The function of the corridor near the main entrance to the Pyramid of Khufu, which is just behind the chevron zone on the north side, was not immediately known, but officials said it could lead to further discoveries.
The discovery was made by researchers from the Scan Pyramid project, an international mission that since 2015 has used modern methods – including radiographic muons, infrared thermography and 3D reconstruction techniques – to investigate the internal structure of the pyramid.
The gabled roof of the secret tunnel suggests it was built to lighten the load on the structure, Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the pyramid site.
“But a big question mark hangs over whether this corridor was created to relieve the weight of the (main) entrance or ease the load on a yet-to-be-discovered space,” he added. “Scanning work will continue to reveal more secrets of this structure.”
The Great Pyramid, the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza, is the last surviving wonder of the ancient world. It was built as a royal tomb about 4,500 years ago during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu.
A chevron technique was used to build the pyramid to cover internal structures and prevent them from collapsing. Scientists say the detection of previously unknown internal structures could lead to a better understanding of the construction process of the ancient monument.
In 2017, the same team of researchers discovered a large void through cosmic-ray muon radiography, which they said was the first large internal structure found in the Great Pyramid since the 19th century. They found another unknown cavity on the northeast edge of the pyramid the year before.
Egypt aims to exploit new ancient finds to attract tourists, a major source of foreign currency and jobs that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as political instability following the 2011 revolution.