Archaeologists started for a long time now to look into new technologies that may help them reveal the secrets of ancient civilizations. Their latest project involves scanning the Great Pyramid with muons particles.
The Great Pyramid was built around 2,560 BC and initially was 481 feet tall. It is believed that it served as a tomb for the pharaoh Khufu (Cheops).
Until now, historians believed that the inside of the pyramid contains a descending passage that leads to a lower unfinished Chamber and an ascending passage that evolves in two ways: up into the Grand Gallery, which ends into the King’s Chamber, and straight into a shorter passage that leads to the lower Queen’s Chamber.
Since the first modern drawings of the interior of the pyramid in the 18th century, there had been numerous other attempts to reveal other chambers and passages. Some of them involved fiber-optic cameras and specially designed robots that could reach the most sensitive areas.
The new approach is to use high-tech scanners that would reveal a more complex image of the pyramid’s interior. The scanner was designed by French scientists and it will hopefully be able to see through the stones and reveal the hidden chambers.
The scanner’s technology relies on muons particles, which are created by cosmic rays that collide with Earth’s atmosphere. The muons particles help scientists scan through the structure of a building in a non-invasive way.
The research is conducted by a team of architects from Egypt and France. The project’s first task was to scan through King Tut’s tomb, and their first success was in April this year when the scanner used in the Bent Pyramid led to the discovery of a new hidden chamber.
The scientists also used infrared images to discover differences in temperature which may be explained by the presence of rooms and passages inside the stone buildings.
Another recent breakthrough obtained with the help of technology was the Viking settlement discovered in North America by an archaeologist that used satellite images.
In Honduras, archaeologists used airborne laser scanners to reveal the existence of an ancient city that may have been the location mentioned in the “City of the Monkey God.”
Satellite technology was also the one that helped archaeologists develop theories around the disappearance of antic civilizations because of resource over-exploitation.
For example, in Cambodia researchers created a map of the city of Mahendraparvat. The construction of its vast temples and highways caused deforestation, which together with the issues in the canal system resulted in the disappearance of a whole civilization.
Scientists are very enthusiastic regarding the new information brought by technology, as fieldwork and the direct exploration of the historical artifacts can be invasive and expose both the researchers and the historical exponents to danger and destruction.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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