Two previously unknown 'cavities' found in Giza's Great Pyramid

Non-invasive scanning technologies have revealed that the Great Pyramid still has significant secrets, 4,500 years after it was built.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr

The Pyramids of Khafre or Chephren and Cheops, Giza Necropolis, Egypt.

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The potential secret chamber in Tutankhamun's tomb may have been ruled a bust, but it looks like there are still secrets in the burial chambers of the pharaohs. The Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest and largest of the three Giza pyramids -- and, at 4,500 years old the oldest of the world's Seven Wonders -- still has some hidden chambers, new data reveals.

For 12 months, the ScanPyramids project, under the authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, has been using a range of cutting edge scanning technologies to search for hidden chambers -- and now it's found two, it has reported. Using infrared thermography, muon radiography and 3D reconstruction, the team located the cavities on the north face and northeastern edge.

"Having conducting those three complementary techniques, we are now able to confirm the existence of a 'void' hidden behind the North Face, that could have the form of at least one corridor going inside the Great Pyramid," the team said in a statement. "The #ScanPyramids team is [also] able to confirm the presence of an unknown cavity on the North Eastern edge of the Pyramid, at a height of about 105 metres from the ground."

ScanPyramids is now conducting further investigations to determine the size, shape and exact position of the northern cavity, and expects more results by the end of October.