It would appear that mystery and wonder are the gifts the ancient Egyptians keep on given, even 4,500 years after the creation of the Great pyramid of Giza.
Several of what researchers are calling “thermal anomalies” have been picked up by scans of the pyramids, which lie just on the outskirts of Egypt’s capital, Cairo. These anomalies have been explained by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities as “voids behind the surface.” In fact, one such anomaly that scientists have found to be particularly interesting was discovered in not only the largest pyramid ever built, but the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still intact, the Khufu pyramid.
The scans that detect these anomalies were part of an investigation dubbed “Operation Scan Pyramids.” The scientific investigation is focused on seeing inside the pyramids by the use of noninvasive visualization techniques, such as 3-D scans with lasers and drones. The discovery of the anomalies came two weeks into the mission, which is scheduled to last until the end of 2016.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Antiquities, teams discovered and observed several thermal anomalies during the heating up of cooling down phases of all the monuments; the most impressive of which was seen on the eastern side of the 4,500 year old Khufu pyramid.
The scanning techniques include “infrared thermography” and “cosmic particle detectors,” which are used to indicate the existence of any undocumented structures or cavities within the ancient monuments, with the hope of achieving a better understanding of their structure, layout, and construction process.
Not just limited to Khufu, the same anomalies have been found in the smaller Khafre pyramid, also in Giza, and two pyramids located in Dahshur, about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south.
Speculation has arisen as to what the anomalies could be indicating, with the leading theory being that the shift in temperature is being caused by a cavity used as a hidden tomb; however, no official explanation has been reached, with all theories remaining unconfirmed.
As for now, the data regarding the anomalies and any other information that scientists have gathered will be collected for further treatment and analysis. The next step of Operation Scan Pyramids, following the scanning, will be to create a 3-D model and simulation of the pyramids on the Giza plateau, allowing scientists to see inside remotely and safely and preserving the actual monuments.
While the discovery of the thermal anomalies has undoubtedly been unexpected, it is surely not unwelcome, as the collective imaginations of the scientific community in Egypt remain inspired by the mysteries the pyramids could contain. The motto for the investigation sums up just how everyone involved with it feels, by telling the world “just because the mystery is 4,500 years old doesn’t mean it can’t be solved…”