History

New rooms discovered in the pyramid of Khufu

PARIS, FRANCE: A French architect unveiled in Paris on Thursday the existence of two hidden and so far unknown rooms in Egypt’s Great Pyramid. In his many visits to the Khufu chamber, French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin noticed that one stone element in the burial room was not supporting any weight and therefore had once been a passage. But until today, no one suspected the existence of any such room.

According to funeral rites of ancient Egypt, kings would be buried with all their belongings in close vicinity. It was a belief that the dead needed all the comfort they had during their life, such as a chair, table and a bed, items which in other pyramids are situated in an adjacent room to the burial room.

“We announced, unveiled that inside the Khufu Pyramid there are two antechambers which are part of the Khufu funeral apartments which are unknown and which are very close to the king’s chamber so I announce that there are two antechambers in the Khufu pyramid,” Houdin told Reuters after unveiling his hypothesis at a presentation, using 3D computer simulation.”

The current entrance which the many visitors use today was opened in 820 AD by Caliph Al-Mamoun in his search for Khufu treasure. But he didn’t find much and little did he know that the real entrance to the King’s chamber was right under his nose.

“History stops at this event, saying that the robber entered through the door, went all the way to the King’s chamber and left. History was not completed because Mamoun got the wrong corridor. The corridor and the antechambers are just behind. Now we need to go and find them. But it’s not difficult now to find them,” said Houdin.

Jean-Pierre Houdin is the same man who in 2007 believed he cracked a 4,500-year-old mystery surrounding Egypt’s Great Pyramid, saying it was built from the inside out. Previous theories suggest that Pharaoh Khufu’s tomb, the last surviving example of the seven great wonders of antiquity, was built using either a vast frontal ramp or a ramp in a corkscrew shape around the exterior to haul up the stonework.

But defying this wisdom, Jean-Pierre Houdin said advanced 3D technology had shown the main ramp which was used to haul the massive stones to the apex was contained 10-15 meters beneath the outer skin, tracing a pyramid within a pyramid.

To prove his case, Houdin teamed up with a French company that builds 3D models for auto and airplane design, Dassault Systems, which put 14 engineers on the project. Now, an international team is being assembled to probe the pyramid using radars and heat detecting cameras supplied by a French defense firm, after consent from Egyptian authorities.

Using thermal cameras, a research team from Canada plan to scrutinize the pyramid through a thermal camera in order to prove the theory that it was built inside out. With slight heat differences over a long period of time, it is hoped that the corridors will appear.

“If we show a picture with the ramps, no-one will doubt about their existence. There are difficulties of course, I’m not saying it is going to be easy, the main difficulty being the thickness of the walls. If the walls are too thick the thermal waves will have the tendency to get weaker the more they travel through the stone,” said Xavier Maldague from Laval University in Canada.

Houdin began working full-time on the riddle over ten years ago after a flash of intuition was passed on to him by his engineer father. He found that a frontal, mile-long ramp would have used up as much stone as the pyramid, while being too steep near the top. He believes an external ramp was used only to supply the base.

An external corkscrew ramp would have blocked the sight lines needed to build an accurate pyramid and been difficult to fix to the surface, while leaving little room to work.-Reuters

About the author

Rabia Abbas

Rabia Abbas is working for Pakistani Chapter of European NGO, 3Oth (Third World Talent Hunt) having Master degree in Business Administration. She is passionate to explore innovative ways of art, entertainment, fashion and to carry on uniqueness and to wake up the creativity in each person. She contributes on Pakistan Times to promote Pakistani Culture and Art within Youth.

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