Scanpyramids

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The ScanPyramids[1] mission is an Egyptian-International project designed and led by Cairo University and the French HIP Institute (Heritage Innovation Preservation).[2] This project aims at scanning Old Kingdom Egyptian Pyramids (Khufu, Khafre, the Bent and the Red) to detect the presence of unknown internal voids and structures.[3]

The project, launched on October 2015,[4] combines several non-invasive and non-destructive techniques which may help to a better understanding of their structure and their construction processes and techniques. The team is currently using Infrared thermography, muon tomography, 3D simulation and reconstruction techniques.[5][6]

ScanPyramids is an interdisciplinary project mixing art, science and technology.[7] On November 2, 2017, the ScanPyramids team announced, through a publication in Nature,[8] its third discovery in the Great Pyramid, a "plane-sized"[9] previously unknown void named the "ScanPyramids Big Void".[10]

Discoveries[edit]

2016[edit]

On October 15, 2016 ScanPyramids confirmed their first unknown void discoveries thanks to muon tomography in the Great Pyramid.[11][12] A previously unknown cavity[13] was confirmed on the North-Eastern Edge,[14] roughly at 110m high with similar void volume characteristics as a known "cave" located at 83m on the same edge.[15]

A second void was discovered behind the chevrons area of Khufu's North Face above the descending corridor. This area was investigated after thermal anomalies observation that led the team to position muon emulsion plates in the descending corridor.[5][16] This void has been more investigated during the year 2017 in order to provide more information about its shape, size, and exact position.[5][17]

2017[edit]

During 2017 more muons emulsion plates were positioned in the descending corridor and in Al-Mamun's tunnel. The void behind the chevrons has been reconfirmed through different "point of views" and its characteristics have been refined. Named "ScanPyramids North-Face Corridor", this void is located between 17 and 23m from the Great Pyramid's ground level, between 0,7m and 2m from the North Face. Its slope is either horizontal or upward slope and it has a corridor like shape.[18]

ScanPyramids Big Void[edit]

On November 2, 2017, the ScanPyramids team published in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Nature its third discovery, named "ScanPyramids Big Void".[8] This previously unknown and gigantic void is located just above the known Grand Gallery, in a circumscribed area. Its minimum length is 30m and it has a similar cross-section as the Grand Gallery. The ScanPyramids Big Void has been observed by three teams of physicists from different points of view (2 points of view in the Queen's Chamber and from outside in front of the North Face). Each team has confirmed the discovery of this previously unknown void at certainty level above 5 Sigma.[8]

The three scientific institution specialized in particle physics have worked independently and each one used a different and complementary muography technique:

The team has been very cautious about its architectural nature.[19] As it was done for the void discovered behind the chevrons area (ScanPyramids North Face Corridor), new muography observations, from new angles, should be conducted in order to refine the Big Void's architectural characteristics (slope, shape).[20][21]

This discovery has been featured in many international media as one of the top discoveries of the year 2017 (NBC News,[22] Euronews,[23] Physics World,[24] Science News,[25] Global News,[26] Gizmodo,[27] Business Insider,[28] Altmetric,[29] Egypt Today,[30] NBC,[31] MSN News,[32] Le Monde,[33] CTV,[34] The Franklin Institute,[35] Radio Canada,[36] Sciences et Avenir,[37] RTE,[38] PBS,[39] Yahoo,[40] La Vanguardia,[41] France Info[42]).

Egyptologists reactions[edit]

On November 2, 2017, the Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, who published few weeks before, with Mark Lehner his latest book, Giza and the Pyramids: A definitive history,[43] told the New York Times: “They found nothing...This paper offers nothing to Egyptology. Zero.”[44]

On November 4, Khaled al-Anany, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities said, during a press conference, that the void space found inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu by the ScanPyramids project is a new revelation that brought the world’s attention to Egypt. He added “What was discovered is new and larger than the known cavities, and we’ll continue in our scientific steps”.[45]

Other Egyptologists have welcomed the discovery. Yukinori Kawae told National Geographic “This is definitely the discovery of the century...There have been many hypotheses about the pyramid, but no one even imagined that such a big void is located above the Grand Gallery.”[46][47]

Peter der Manuelian from Harvard University said that “This is an exciting new discovery, and potentially a major contribution to our knowledge about the Great Pyramid.”[48][21]

Physicists reactions[edit]

Lee Thompson, an expert in particle physics at the University of Sheffield (UK) told Science: "The scientists have “seen” the void using three different muon detectors in three independent experiments, which makes their finding very robust."[49] Christopher Morris, physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory called the findings “pretty amazing.”[50] Jerry Anderson who worked on Khafre's Pyramid and was a member of the team of Luis Walter Alvarez, the first scientist to use muography inside a pyramid in the 1965,[51] said to Los Angeles Time, with a laugh: "I am very excited and very pleased,...I wish we had worked in the Great Pyramid, now that I look back on it”.[52]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ScanPyramids". www.scanpyramids.org. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  2. ^ "Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute". HIP Institute. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  3. ^ "CEA joins #ScanPyramids project - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online". english.ahram.org.eg. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  4. ^ "Archaeologists Plan on Using Cosmic Ray Muons to Peer Inside the Pyramids". Motherboard. 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  5. ^ a b c HIP Institute (2016-10-15). "The " ScanPyramids " Project launch to crack the secret of the biggest Egyptian pyramids" (PDF). www.hip.institute. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  6. ^ "Researchers Will Use Lasers and Drones to Map the Pyramids Inside and Out". Popular Mechanics. 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  7. ^ "Scan Pyramids project". Altaplana. 2018-03-02. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  8. ^ a b c d Morishima, Kunihiro; Kuno, Mitsuaki; Nishio, Akira; Kitagawa, Nobuko; Manabe, Yuta; Moto, Masaki; Takasaki, Fumihiko; Fujii, Hirofumi; Satoh, Kotaro (2017-11-02). "Discovery of a big void in Khufu's Pyramid by observation of cosmic-ray muons". Nature. 552 (7685): 386–390. arXiv:1711.01576. doi:10.1038/nature24647. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 29160306.
  9. ^ "What we know about the 'plane-sized void' scientists have just found in the Great Pyramids". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  10. ^ "Historique ! Une gigantesque cavité de 30 mètres de long découverte dans la pyramide de Kheops". Sciences et Avenir (in French). Retrieved 2018-06-12.
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  12. ^ "Scanning the Pyramids: Hidden cavities beneath Giza's Great Pyramid". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  13. ^ Procureur, S. (2018-01-11). "Muon imaging: Principles, technologies and applications". Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment. 878: 169–179. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2017.08.004. ISSN 0168-9002.
  14. ^ "Deux cavités découvertes dans la grande pyramide de Khéops". FIGARO (in French). 2016-10-15. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  15. ^ Kanaya, Ichi; Kawae, Yukinori; Yasumuro, Yoshihiro; Chiba, Fumito (2013-10-28). 3D Reconstruction of the "Cave" of the Great Pyramid from Video Footage. pp. 227–230. doi:10.1109/DigitalHeritage.2013.6743739. ISBN 978-1-4799-3170-5.
  16. ^ "More hidden 'cavities' found in Great Pyramid of Giza". Global News. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
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  18. ^ Institute, H. I. P. (2017-11-16), ScanPyramids 2017 Video Report, retrieved 2018-06-12
  19. ^ Dvorsky, George. "Stunned Scientists Detect Suspected Hidden Chamber Within Great Pyramid of Giza". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2018-06-12. We’re avoiding the word ‘chamber', we know that it’s a big void, but we’re not calling it a chamber
  20. ^ "AMA (Ask Me Anything) History - We've brought ancient pyramid experts here to answer your questions about the mysterious, recently-discovered voids inside Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza. Ask us anything!". reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  21. ^ a b "How cosmic rays revealed a new, mysterious void inside the Great Pyramid". Vox. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
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  24. ^ "First multimessenger observation of a neutron-star merger is Physics World 2017 Breakthrough of the Year – Physics World". Physics World. 2017-12-11. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  25. ^ Travis, Kate (2018-02-15). "Revisiting the science stories that made us cry, think and say 'OMG' in 2017". Science News. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
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  27. ^ Mandelbaum, Ryan F. "The Coolest Scientific Discoveries of 2017". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
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  29. ^ "Altmetric's top 100 research articles – 2017". Altmetric. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
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  32. ^ "20 important discoveries of 2017". a.msn.com. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  33. ^ "2017, une année de sciences en images". Le Monde.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  34. ^ Gajewski, Misha (2017-12-21). "The 17 most amazing moments in science of 2017". CTVNews. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
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  43. ^ Zahi Hawass, Mark Lehner (October 2017). Giza and the Pyramids: A definitive history. ISBN 9780226425696.
  44. ^ "Inside Giza's Great Pyramid, Scientists Discover a Void". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-06-12. “They found nothing,” said Dr. Hawass, noting that such construction gaps had been known of for at least two decades. “This paper offers nothing to Egyptology. Zero.”
  45. ^ "Khufu pyramid void draws world attention to Egypt: Minister - Egypt Independent". Egypt Independent. 2017-11-04. Retrieved 2018-06-12. “What was discovered is new and larger than the known cavities, and we’ll continue in our scientific steps,” Anany said
  46. ^ "Mysterious Void Discovered in Egypt's Great Pyramid". 2017-11-02. Retrieved 2018-06-12. “There have been many hypotheses about the pyramid, but no one even imagined that such a big void is located above the Grand Gallery.”
  47. ^ "Kheops : Fausse polémique autour de la découverte d'une gigantesque cavité dans la grande pyramide". Sciences et Avenir (in French). Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  48. ^ Sample, Ian (2017-11-02). "Archaeologists discover mysterious void deep within Great Pyramid of Giza". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-06-12. Peter Der Manuelian, professor of Egyptology and director of the Harvard Semitic Museum, said the discovery was “potentially a major contribution to our knowledge about the Great Pyramid.”
  49. ^ "Cosmic rays reveal unknown void in the Great Pyramid of Giza". Science | AAAS. 2017-11-01. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  50. ^ "Inside Giza's Great Pyramid, Scientists Discover a Void". Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  51. ^ Alvarez, Luis Walter (1965-03-01). "A proposal to "X-ray" the Egyptian Pyramids to Search for Presently Unknown Chambers" (PDF). http://alvarezphysicsmemos.lbl.gov/. pp. 39–102. Retrieved 2018-06-12. External link in |website= (help)
  52. ^ Khan, Amina. "Using particle physics, scientists find hidden structure inside Egypt's Great Pyramid". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-06-12.