CAIRO: Scientists have discovered a hidden passage inside Egypt’s Great Pyramid, the
authorities announced on Thursday, part of a seven-year international research project.
The passage is nine meters (30 feet) in length and more than two meters in width, the
antiquities ministry said in a statement.
Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities Minister Ahmed Issa told reporters at the ancient site in
Giza also known as the Khufu, or Cheops, pyramid, that the “gabled corridor” with a
triangular ceiling “was found on the northern face of the Great Pyramid of King Khufu”.
The discovery was part of the ScanPyramids project, launched in 2015 as a
collaboration between major universities in France, Germany, Canada and Japan and a
group of Egyptian experts.
Archaeologist Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former antiquities minister, heads the committee
supervising the project, which uses advanced technology to visualize hidden parts of
the pyramid’s interior without having to excavate it.
The technology is a mix of infrared thermography, muon radiography imaging and 3D
reconstruction — all of which the researchers say are non-invasive and non-destructive
The Great Pyramid is the largest in Giza, standing 146 meters tall, and the only
surviving structure of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Built some 4,500 years ago, it has three known chambers, and like other pyramids in
Egypt was intended as a pharaoh’s tomb.
Hawass told reporters at the pyramid on Thursday that “there is a great possibility… the
tunnel is protecting something. In my opinion, it is protecting the actual burial chamber
of King Khufu.”
In 2017, ScanPyramids announced the discovery of a passenger plane-sized cavity, the
first major structure found inside the Great Pyramid since the 19th century.