Work underway to uncover secrets of Egypt's Dahshur and Khufu pyramids

Nevine El Aref, Sunday 17 Jan 2016

Although no discoveries have yet been made, scans have revealed several anomalies which indicate that a discovery could be on the horizon, said Egypt's minister of antiquities

In this Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 file photo, A screen displays live footage from a thermal camera ahead of a press conference in front of the Khufu pyramid in Giza, Egypt (AP)

The initiative to scan Egypt's pyramids to uncover their secrets using infrared examination and Muon detection is progressing, with work underway on King Senefru's pyramids at the Dahshur necropolis and Khufu's pyramid on the Giza Plateau, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty said on Sunday.

"Although no discoveries have yet been made, scans have revealed several anomalies which indicate that a discovery could be made in the pyramids by the end of 2016," Eldamaty told a news conference held at the Grand Egyptian Museum. 

The #Scanpyramids project, which aims to scan over a one-year period some of Egypt's pyramids, combines several non-invasive scanning techniques to search for the presence of any unknown internal structures and cavities in ancient monuments, which may lead to a better understanding of their structure and their construction processes and techniques.

The technologies used are a mix of infrared thermography, Muon radiography and 3D reconstruction.

Eldamaty explains that the Muon detection scans on Senefru's bent and red pyramids in Dahshur have been completed and are undergoing analysis in a specialised lab at the Grand Egyptian Museum by Japanese scientist Kunihiro Morishima from Nagoya University.

Hani Helal, the coordinator of the #Scanpyramids project, told Ahram online that the short-term infrared survey reveals different temperatures on the eastern and northern facades of the Khufu pyramid, which implies a discovery may be on the horizon.

"The difference in temperatures cannot be the result of the difference in the kinds limestone blocks used, because the difference in temperature reaches six degrees," Helal asserted.

The #ScanPyramids project was launched in October under the authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University, and the Heritage, Innovation and Preservation Institute (HIP).

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