Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron hopes for breakthrough on trade tensions during US visit

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron meets Trump: A state visit with discord on the horizon?

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Mahalia, Ariana Grande & Willie Nelson

Read more

FOCUS

Tramadol: Cameroon’s low-budget opioid crisis

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU citizens’ consultations: Macron’s efforts to renew Europe

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Strengthening ties Down Under: The man charged with promoting Australia in France

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Jagland: ‘Would be disastrous if Russia pulls out of Council of Europe’

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Much ado about nothing? Actress Natalie Portman's boycott of 'Jewish Nobel awards' sparks backlash

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump: Strategic BFFs?

Read more

Middle East

Egypt archaeologist criticises void 'discovery' in Great Pyramid

© ScanPyramids mission, AFP | This handout 3D artistic view made by the ScanPyramids mission and released on November 2, 2017 by the Nature Publishing Group shows a hidden internal structure in Khufu’s Pyramid, the largest pyramid in Giza.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-11-04

An Egyptian archaeologist overseeing a project to scan a pyramid for voids on Saturday criticised the announcement of a discovery of a passenger plane-sized cavity in the Great Pyramid.

Scientists with the ScanPyramids project revealed on Thursday that the void discovered with subatomic particle scans was the first major structure found inside the pyramid since the 19th century.

It is thought to be at least 30 metres (98 feet) long and located above the "Grand Gallery" -- a sloped corridor almost 50 metres long and nine metres high which links Khufu's burial chamber at the pyramid's centre to a tunnel leading outside.

The findings were published by the science journal Nature.

But Zahi Hawass, who heads the ScanPyramids science committee overseeing the project, said there was no new "discovery".

He said he had met other scientists from ScanPyramids who "showed us their conclusions, and we informed them this is not a discovery," he told AFP.

"The pyramid is full of voids and that does not mean there is a secret chamber or a new discovery," he said.

In a statement on Friday, the head of the government's antiquities council Mustafa Waziri also criticised the announcement.

"The project has to proceed in a scientific way that follows the steps of scientific research and its discussion before publication," he said.

The monument -- 139 metres high today, and 230 metres wide -- was erected as a tomb for Khufu, also known as Cheops. To this day, nobody knows quite how it was built.

The void, said co-author Kunihiro Morishima from Nagoya University in Japan, "was not known by anyone until now, from when the pyramid was built 4,500 years ago".

"The big void is completely closed," he added, which means anything inside it would not have been "touched by anyone after the pyramid (was) built".

The pharaohs of ancient Egypt built these monumental tombs for themselves, complete with sarcophagus to hold their embalmed mummies, and stocked with everything they could require for the afterlife, including food, clothing and jewellery.

(AFP)

Date created : 2017-11-04

  • EGYPT

    Airliner-sized 'void' discovered within Great Pyramid

    Read more

  • ARCHAEOLOGY

    Discovery of new tombs hints that pyramid builders were not slaves

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French artist's optical illusion makes Louvre Pyramid 'disappear'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)