An “impressive” anomaly has been discovered behind the 4,500 year-old walls in the Great Pyramid of Giza early into a thermal scanning project.
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“Does he even deserve a response? He doesn’t,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty told the Associated Press when discussing the finds of the recent thermal scanning.
“A lot of people are trying to prove that the pyramids weren’t built for burials,” said Afifi. “Maybe they’re comments used for publicity like that man who’s not an archaeologist and says they stored grain, and I don’t know what that was based on,” said Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Antiquities Ministry.
Early findings from the pyramid scans and the anomaly
“This anomaly is really quite impressive and it’s just in front of us, at the ground level,” said Mehdi Tayoubi, founder of the Paris-based Heritage Innovation Preservation. The scans are being conducted with a combination of infrared thermography, muon radiography and 3D reconstruction.
Scans of the pyramid have been conducted during the day and night and showed that temperature differences between adjacent stones as they warmed and cooled through the day varied between 0.1 degrees and 0.5 degrees. However, on the eastern side of the pyramid, also known as the pyramid of Khufu, there is a segment that is showing a 6-degree variation.
But why? “We have several hypothesis but no conclusion for the moment,” said Tayoubi.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty, said the anomaly could be caused by “void spaces, fissures or passages,” but quickly pointed out that “so far, I do not know.”
Beth Ann Judas, an Egyptologist believes that the anomaly may have something to do with the fact that the east side of the great pyramid was the focal point.
“The Nile was to the east of the pyramid, and most everyone would have approached from the east,” she said. “Pyramids also have a connection to the solar aspect, and the cult of the god Ra, in ancient Egyptian religion,” she said.
Judas points out that the Khufu pyramid is home to the most Byzantine passage construction of any of the pyramids she and others have studied.
“At the very least, this anomaly will shed additional light on the construction techniques of the 4th dynasty Egyptians,” said Judas. “It’s rather exciting actually. Over the past few years, archaeologists have been learning more about the workmen and officials who are connected to the pyramids, and this gives us more information about their work.”