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Thursday, October 29, 2015
News, Giza: ‘Scan Pyramids’ Project Hopes to Decipher Ancient Secrets
Scan Pyramids project will detect hidden chambers, corridors, and doors inside
the pyramids. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Logo of the Scan Pyramids project
November, the pyramids of Giza will be subject to a non-invasive survey in an
attempt to unravel their secrets four millennia after their construction.
theories have been brought forward during the past century to understand the
method that the ancient Egyptians used to construct the pyramids but all are
still scientific hypotheses,” Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told
continued, saying that the Scan Pyramids project is a new means to learn how
the pyramids were built and understand the reason behind the pyramid-shaped
design. The scans will also detect the existence of any hidden chambers,
corridors, and doors inside the pyramids.
explains that this would be implemented through radiographic muons, (a process
similar to x-ray, but much more deeply penetrating), infrared thermography,
photogrammetry, scanning, and 3D reconstruction. The most innovative
technologies will be used by researchers from three universities: the Faculty
of Engineering of Cairo University, Université Laval of Quebec, and Nagoya
University of Japan.
goal is to probe Egypt’s largest pyramids, without touching them or drilling
the slightest opening,” Eldamaty asserted. Phase
one of the project will scan four masterpieces of the Fourth Dynasty: the Bent
and Red pyramids of King Senefru at Dahshur necropolis, fifteen kilometers
south of Saqqara, as well as Kings Khufu and Khafre’s pyramids on the Giza
project will last at least until the end of 2016, at which point a second phase
of scanning will take place for other Egyptian pyramids
Tayoubi, president of the Paris-based Heritage Innovation Preservation (HIP)
Institute, said that the project is entirely dedicated to the advancement,
sharing, and transfer of knowledge. "Our
desire is to form a team of international experts to discuss and confront the
theoretical and technological approaches to archaeology," Tayoubi said.
"The idea is to unlock the mystery of the pyramids.”
Experts at the conference with Zaazou, Eldamaty and Hany Helal
similar attempt was made 30 years ago, but this is the first project at a
global level using cutting-edge technology to look inside the pyramids,"
Tayoubi told Ahram Online.
theories have been proposed, either explaining their construction or their
structural anomalies, but archaeologists and scientists have yet to settle on a
concrete theory explaining how the structures were built," Professor Hany
Helal, who heads the mission of the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University
are physicists and engineers and the pyramids were built by engineers so we
should be able to understand our ancient Egyptian counterparts. But we couldn’t
do it without the cooperation of our dear archaeologists.”
goal is to use techniques that bring concrete results. Then the Egyptologists
will interpret them," Helal told Ahram Online, adding that during the
1980s he participated in a similar studies but the surveying technique used at
that time was not fully developed like the current one, so the results were not
achievable. But it made us understand more about the pyramids.
this mission we, perhaps, will not be able to resolve the mystery of the
pyramids, but we are making progress, testing new processes, and without a
doubt we will have a better understanding of what these pyramids hide within
its massive walls,” Helal told Ahram Online. If we obtain concrete results, he
continued, our procedures would be used for other monuments in other sites and
even in other countries.
told Ahram Online that the infrared and muon technologies would be used to look
for a possible hidden chamber in King Tutankhamun's tomb, which may be the
burial place of Queen Nefertiti, as British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves
posited in his recently revealed theory.
have never discovered the mummy of the legendary beauty. Reeves, who was in
Luxor in September to probe his theory, believes a hidden door in Tutankhamun's
tomb could conceal the burial place of Nefertiti. The Permanent Committee for
Ancient Egyptian Antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities has already
approved the use of radars to search within the boy king's tomb but the
concrete search is still awaiting the security clearance.
of Tourism Hisham Zazou announced that the ministry is to launch an
international campaign entitled "2016 is the Year of the Pyramids."
This campaign, he told Ahram Online, would be an effective promotion campaign
like #ThisIsEgypt, which was launched last week during actor Morgan Freeman's
visit to the country.