Void discovered in Giza pyramid not new discovery, says former antiquities minister

The mysterious void detected in the Great Pyramid of Giza may not be so mysterious after all.
By Delila James | Nov 07, 2017
Former antiquities minister Zawi Hawass, who now heads Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities's scientific mission, says that a void found in the Great Pyramid of Giza by the ScanPyramids project is not a new discovery.

According to an article published in the journal Nature, detection of the 30-meter void was made possible by "recent advances in particle physics" and represents the first significant inner structure discovered since the 1800s.

But Hawass told Ahram Online that Egyptologists have long known about "voids" in the Great Pyramid.

For example, Dieter Arnold, who authored a book on stone masonry in ancient Egypt, described construction gaps throughout the Great Pyramid's passage system. And other surveys consistently show possible voids within the pyramid, Hawass said often because research teams are trying to promote their new high-tech equipment.

Hawass was critical of the ScanPyramids project's lack of knowledge and scientific objectivity. For instance, at one point the project made a big announcement about a stone that was five degrees higher in heat emissions that the rest of the pyramid. But when Hawass examined the area, he found that the stone in question was put there in 1939 using cement.

"This is why this area had a higher temperature than other blocks," Hawass said.

Hawass added that the Antiquities Minister appointed his scientific committee to review ScanPyramids' work because of the importance of having the data looked at by experienced Egyptologists who have spent their lives working around pyramids.

"We are not at all against any discovery but we as a scientific committee are responsible for explaining to non-Egyptologists the purpose and method of construction of the Great Pyramid," Hawass said.


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