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The famous pyramid is the oldest and largest of the three ancient monuments in the Giza Plateau and is believed to have been constructed for the Pharaoh Khufu over a 20-year period, though his body has never been recovered. Among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is the only one still largely intact and is estimated to weigh approximately six million tonnes, from the 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite used, some weighing as much as 80 tonnes. But, three of those stones at the bottom of the Great Pyramid caused quite a stir, when “anomalies” were detected by an international team of architects and scientists using thermal cameras.
Officials said possible causes included the existence of empty areas inside the pyramid, internal air currents, or the use of different building materials.
It came as experts searched for hidden chambers within the pyramids.
A team of experts from Egypt, France, Canada and Japan used infrared thermography to survey the pyramids during sunrise, as the Sun heats the limestone structures from the outside, as well as at sunset when they cool down.
Here they spotted the abnormalities.
In a statement, the Egyptian antiquities ministry said the experts had “concluded the existence of several thermal anomalies that were observed on all monuments during the heating-up or the cooling-down phases.
“To explain such anomalies, a lot of hypotheses and possibilities could be drawn up – the presence of voids behind the surface, internal air currents.”
A “particularly impressive” anomaly was found at ground level on the eastern side of the Great Pyramid.
Former Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati said in 2015: “The first row of the pyramid’s stones are all uniform, then we come here and find that there’s a difference in the formation.
“Khufu will offer us one of its secrets.”
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But, neither he nor the experts provided any tangible explanation for the anomalies, which could indicate the existence of a secret chamber.
The find was made by the ScanPyramid team, the same group of experts that uncovered a “sizeable void” near the Queen’s Chamber in 2017.
Less than two years later, in August 2019, it was revealed a huge second chamber had also been found, this time to the right of the King’s Chamber.
Egyptian archaeologist and former Minister of State for Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass, told Express.co.uk last year: “ScanPyramid gave us some information [in 2017], they said there was a void, behind the main entrance of the pyramid.
“We knew about this void before, it was made to make the descending corridor.
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“But now they are telling us about another void above the gallery, about 30 metres long.
“We asked them to give us more specific data about this void so we can know more about what this space was used for.”
Dr Hawass continued, expressing a belief that the body of Khufu could actually be hiding in this void.
He added: “If you know how the Great Pyramid was constructed, then you know it has lots of voids.
“We hope to find that the body of Khufu could be discovered, that something important could be discovered in these voids.
“For now though I’m working the Valley of the Kings, where I’m hoping to discover the tomb of Nefertiti and many more in the East Valley and also all the Queens of the 18th Dynasty, sons and daughters of the Kings.
“They are buried in the valley, but where? I am still searching.”
Egypt’s current Minister for Antiquities Dr Khaled El-Enany confirmed he is now working with archaeologists around the world.
He hopes to have an answer soon on whether Khufu’s body could be hiding inside the pyramid.
He told Express.co.uk: “For the Giza Pyramid, we had a study submitted by ScanPyramid a year-and-a-half ago, they said they found a big void.
“They are continuing this work now, under my direction and scholars all over the world.
“We hope we can know more details in the future.
“As you know the sarcophagus of Khufu was found empty, so maybe we can find it [the body] – it would make me so happy.“
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