by Brooks Hays
Giza, Egypt (UPI) Nov 9, 2015
High-tech scanning technologies have revealed anomalies among the ancient Egyptian pyramids.
Especially significant anomalies were found among the stones of King Khufu's Great Pyramid in Giza. The discrepancies were identified by infrared thermal scans. Scientists say the temperature differences may reveal hidden gaps in the stones or places where different types of materials were used.
The discoveries are part of an ongoing effort by Egypt's Antiquities Ministry and the Heritage Innovation Preservation (HIP) Institute in France to image the insides of the pyramids.
So far, scientists have scanned portions of four pyramids -- two at Giza and two at Dahshur. Giza's Great Pyramid, also called Khufu or Cheops, featured the most significant anomaly.
"This anomaly is really quite impressive, and it's just in front of us, at the ground level," Mehdi Tayoubi, HIP Institute founder, told Discovery News.
"I don't know yet what could lay behind such blocks or what these anomalies could be, but it will surely lead to major discoveries," Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online. "It could be void spaces, fissures or passages. So far, I do not know."
For now, the anomalies remain unexplained. Though new information could arrive soon.
The Scan Pyramids project is expected to last at least another year, with many more monument scans forthcoming. In addition to exploring new monuments, Tayoubi and his research partners will continue to probe the Great Pyramid for explanations of the anomalies.
"We need now to build models and thermal simulations to test different hypotheses in order to understand what we have found," Tayoubi said.
Egypt's pyramids have garnered an unusual amount of media attention lately. Last week, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson -- despite dismissal by Egyptologists -- reiterated his theory that the pyramids were used to store grain, not royal mummies.
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
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