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Science

'Discovery of the Century': Mysterious Void Discovered In Egypt's Great Pyramid (nationalgeographic.com) 299

New submitter klgds writes: The cavity is the first major inner structure discovered in the pyramid since the 1800s. Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza -- one of the wonders of the ancient world, and a dazzling feat of architectural genius -- contains a hidden void at least a hundred feet long, scientists said. The space's dimensions resemble those of the pyramid's Grand Gallery, the 153-foot-long, 26-foot-tall corridor that leads to the burial chamber of Khufu, the pharaoh for whom the pyramid was built. However, it remains unclear what lies within the space, what purpose it served, or if it's one or multiple spaces. The void is the first large inner structure discovered within the 4,500-year-old pyramid since the 1800s -- a find made possible by recent advances in high-energy particle physics. The results were published in the journal Nature. "This is definitely the discovery of the century," says archaeologist and Egyptologist Yukinori Kawae, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. "There have been many hypotheses about the pyramid, but no one even imagined that such a big void is located above the Grand Gallery."
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'Discovery of the Century': Mysterious Void Discovered In Egypt's Great Pyramid

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  • Well duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @12:22PM (#55477325)
    It's the teleportation chamber to link with the alien starships when they're in orbit!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's where the grain is stored.

    • is it ring shaped?

  • by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @12:25PM (#55477355)
    Using the phrase "of the Century" is a very strong indication it's time to stop reading and move on because it's probably something irrelevant and uninteresting.
  • I wonder whether, in today's climate of tearing down statues of famous slavers and imperialists (Jackson, Rhodes etc), people would advocate tearing down the pyramids which, for all their architectural genius, were built at a cost of thousands of lives. They're like Qatari football stadia x1000.

    • that only applies to the west, you should know better than that.

    • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @12:48PM (#55477547)

      Actually, I believe current thought is that pyramids weren't built by slave labour, and Egypt had the wealth to afford it when they didn't need their farmers in the fields.

      I mean, yeah, I'm sure a lot of people died because workplace safety standards weren't really a thing then, but I don't think it was due to throwing away the lives of whip-driven slaves.

      • Evidence points to the pyramids being built by Egyptian government contractors. Evidence also shows they were supposed to be giant cubes.

    • I always thought that the Pyramids had all the architectural genius of a pile of dirt.

      A large, regularly shaped pile of dirt demonstrating some limited knowledge of astronomy.

      It's like Soviet era construction, but more so: The bigger and thicker you build it, the longer it will stand.

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @01:19PM (#55477809) Homepage

        I always thought that the Pyramids had all the architectural genius of a pile of dirt.

        And that is where you would be wrong. To a lot of laymen looking at the pyramid as nothing more than a stack for block stacked on top of each other. Then they give it no more thought.

        There was a lot of thought that went into the shape of the pyramids before they build the 3 big ones. It took a lot of trial and error before they could get the 45 degee slope in the those. All around Egypt there are actually dozens of pyramids where the Egyptians where trying to figure that out. Lots of the attempts failed.

        The first step would be getting the blocks there, most of them weighing several tons, from far away locations by barge. Then there is the moving of those stones across land, up ramps and positioning them in place. Did you know that each stone was shaped for the position that it was being placed in. Think about that for a moment. The stones themselves had complex coding systems that said where they went. The even have markings on them that say "this end up."

        Then there is the grand gallery itself. The load bearing stones around that that keep the gallery open are holding up thousands of tons of stone. The shape and fitting of the support stones has to be nothing short of perfect or the whole thing would come down.

        We should talk about the moving parts of the pyramids. Yes, the pyramids have or had moving parts. Once the pyramids where closed up they did this by sliding 100+ ton blocks into place. Blocks, as in more than one. You know those scenes in the Indiana Jones movies where they would break the rock, sand pours out, and the big door comes down? That is probably how they did it.

        I could go on and on but I think you see what I mean. There was the aligning of the pyramids with he stars. Did you know the pyramids had a outer limestone coating? When they where built the pyramids where coated in limestone and the sides where smooth and bright white. The case stones where fitted with such perfection that you couldn't get a playing card between the seems.

        The building of the pyramids for the Egyptians was a task that was on par with the moonshot of the '60's.

        • by boudie2 ( 1134233 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @02:25PM (#55478243)
          It's a 51.5 degree slope. Saw a documentary recently which said the builders would take a square rock measure 14 units in and 11 down (or vice versa) cut along that line and just keep doing it until it was about 500 feet tall. And then there a slight incline of the sides. All in all it's very impressive and must have been much more so covered in it's original limestone casing and gold top.
        • by Pikoro ( 844299 )

          I think the real question here is: Where did they get the playing cards?

      • I always thought that the Pyramids had all the architectural genius of a pile of dirt .. .A large, regularly shaped pile of dirt demonstrating some limited knowledge of astronomy.

        Part of architecture is the design. Part of architecture is the execution or construction. At the time, constructing them was a feat.

        • by hendric ( 30596 ) *

          Don't forget you are comparing them to the modern spectacle of skyscrapers and whatnot, and looking at them after thousands of years of looting and theft.

          Imagine instead that you saw them on the horizon, their sides polished smooth white limestone (stolen to pave roads in Cairo), their peaks covered in hammered gold/electrum, reflecting the light of the Sun. As you approach the sheer enormity of these objects, made by man to praise their God, would strike you in awe. Yes there are temples and other large s

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        I always thought that the Pyramids had all the architectural genius of a pile of dirt.

        Then you obviously don't know very much about them because the Pyramids are a wonder of math. They are *the* most culturally significant works our entire race have ever produced. The genius they encapsulate are so mind boggling in scope that it shows we are spiritual infants and mathematical simpletons by comparison.

        I don't think our society could produce this quality of work. Ancient Egyptians had the Left brain school of Mathematics and the Right Brain School of Spirituality and the Pyramids are the w

    • I wonder whether, in today's climate of tearing down statues of famous slavers and imperialists (Jackson, Rhodes etc), people would advocate tearing down the pyramids which, for all their architectural genius, were built at a cost of thousands of lives. They're like Qatari football stadia x1000.

      I hope you're not legitimately having trouble differentiating structures built thousands of years ago to celebrate gods with statues built a little over 100 years ago to remind black people that the whites were still in charge.

      • "I hope you're not legitimately having trouble differentiating structures built thousands of years ago to celebrate gods with statues built a little over 100 years ago to remind black people that the whites were still in charge."

        I hope you're not legitimately suggesting that those confederate statues were built to frighten the blacks. Might as well say that statues of JFK were built to glorify womanizing and to terrify women.
    • I wonder whether, in today's climate of tearing down statues of famous slavers and imperialists (Jackson, Rhodes etc), people would advocate tearing down the pyramids which, for all their architectural genius, were built at a cost of thousands of lives. They're like Qatari football stadia x1000.

      Other than the difference that confederate statues have a much smaller footprint than the pyramids and would require lots of labor and equipment to remove. That and many statues were erected long after the Civil War to intimidate the local African-Americans.

    • if the Pyramids got tore down, but they're not symbols any more, they're historic curiosities.

      But even as symbols there's strong evidence that they were built for one of two reasons:

      a. Religion. And I don't hear anyone calling to tear down the sistine chapel.

      b. As a show of power to other nations. To say "Look what we can do, don't mess with us".

      Now, as for those famous slaver monuments, they were built during the 'Jim Crow' era when the south was trying to oppress black people. They sent a ve
    • by judoguy ( 534886 )

      ... people would advocate tearing down the pyramids which, for all their architectural genius, were built at a cost of thousands of lives.

      Definitely tear it down. Carefully cataloging every piece and location. Measure and photograph exhaustively and then re-assemble exactly.

      Then we'd know. No more guesses or conspiracies. We'd just know.

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @12:36PM (#55477449) Homepage

    I thought that when the robot that was looking to the end of one of the "Star Shafts" (back in 2002), a chamber like this was hypothesized because the robot came to the "door" at the end of the shaft.

    I haven't keep up with the research for a while, but I think saying that this is the "discovery of the century" is simple hyperbole.

  • Perhaps it was suppose to be a much bigger chamber, but for some reason they were not able to complete it, so they made a smaller one. However they left the remains of the bigger one in place, as no one would see it or know.

  • Ben Carson's grain storage!
  • That void is empty. The alien space ship that was originally hangered there has been moved to the vault A Thiruvandapuram Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple [npr.org]. Citation provided [sagenews.com]
    • Awesome $22B - now, share that among all the citizens of the country and they can each pay for a month of cellphone service.

  • by Elixon ( 832904 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @01:19PM (#55477813) Homepage Journal

    Dictionary: void = a space containing no matter

    So they found literally nothing? Must be certainly the discovery of the century.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @01:24PM (#55477841) Homepage Journal

    One of the remarkable facts of Egyptology is how nearly impossible it was to prevent tombs from being robbed over the course of thousands of years. There's never been a tomb found that hasn't been robbed at some point, even Tutankhamen's tomb. Most are picked clean of anything that might be of interest to anyone other than an archaeologist.

    But it always seemed to me, given the scale of the pyramids, that there was an obvious option for deterring robbers: make the scale of the engineering project necessary to find and reach the burial chamber more costly than the value of the goods in the chamber. It's not unreasonable; the cost of even a small pyramid must have outweighed the cost of the funerary goods in it by thousands of times. I'm not talking about sealing the burial chamber with a ten ton slab of rock; I'm thinking in terms of hundreds of thousands of tons.

    It has to have occurred to anyone who's pondered the pyramids that there might be things still left hidden inside all that volume. The thing is there is no way to investigate such speculation without some means of being able to see through solid stone. For that reason the matter of undiscovered chambers in the pyramids has become to Egyptology a bit like questions about perpetual motions machines are to physicists. I even saw one Egyptologist say in response to this news that there was "zero chance" of anything remaining undiscovered in the Great Pyramid.

    But maybe speculation isn't so pointless, now that we in the 21st century actually *can* in a fashion see through solid stone.

    • It has to have occurred to anyone who's pondered the pyramids that there might be things still left hidden inside all that volume.

      The problem with the design is that there is little volume in the pyramid itself as it wasn't designed that way as it is the world's largest grave markers in a way. Most of the structure is used to support it's own weight. That's a problem with using only masonry as load-bearing members. If you look at medieval castles you'd find that the interiors are much smaller than you think because the walls have to be thick. Later castles that were not used as defense but more as manors or estate homes had much large

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        What you say may be true of smaller pyramids, but the Great Pyramid does have internal passageways and rooms. With 2.5 million cubic meters there's plenty of room.

        The medieval castle analogy is apt; to a first approximation the Great Pyramid is solid rock. But you can leave plenty space for a burial chamber and it would still to a first approximation be solid rock.

    • Well, if all the gold stayed buried, the next batch of pharaohs wouldn't have had such pretty grave goods.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @01:40PM (#55477975) Journal

    They never learn, do they? Some things are better left alone, such as a mysterious void in the Great Pyramid.

  • It's some sort of heiroglyphics. Some people say they're supposed to be lights. Or is it just another one of those Erich von Daniken things?
    https://mdw-ntr.com/images/blo... [mdw-ntr.com]
    • Al-Jabra
    • Al-Kohol
    • Al-Ibi
    • the Al-Phabet
    • Al-Titude

    And, most importantly:

    Al-Literatation.


    -----
    Before you bitch-n-moan... seriously you're surfing slashdot while your sense of humor is in a coma?

  • Tell him this is Al Caponeâ(TM)s vault!

  • Big Void (Score:5, Funny)

    by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @04:13PM (#55478991) Homepage
    From TFA:
    > “There have been many hypotheses about the pyramid, but no one even
    > imagined that such a big void is located above the Grand Gallery.”

    Shouldn't that be long void?

    long void is to void as long int is to int.

    C'mon guys. Let's have consistency on this.
  • I think we me have found resting place of the remains of those who built that pyramid.

  • ... a cavity search.

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