Despite being 4,500 years old, the Great Pyramid of Giza still has secrets to tell. Recently, a team of architects and scientists from Egypt, France, Canada and Japan were scanning the pyramid using infrared thermography, a process that detects infrared energy emitted from an object. They were hoping to uncover an anomaly that might lead to the discovery of hidden chambers. They hit paydirt when they found that higher temperatures registered on three adjacent stones located at the bottom of the Egyptian pyramid.
The heat spots, dubbed “thermal anomalies,” were also detected in the upper half of the Great Pyramid, but the “particularly impressive” ones were the ones at base level. “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,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati said as he showed reporters the three stones showing higher temperatures.
At this point what lies behind the giant stones is unknown. While it may lead to a long-hidden chamber or passageway, officials said other possible causes included the existence of empty areas inside the pyramid, internal air currents, or the use of different building materials.
The Great Pyramid houses the tombs of the pharaohs Khufu (Kheops), Khafre (Khephren) and Menkaure (Mycerinus), with the discovery being found at the ground level on the side known as the Pyramid of Khufu.
The investigation into what may be causing the anomalies is occurring during the Operation Scan Pyramids project, which began on October 25 and is expected to last until the end of 2016.