Cosmic Particles Could Hold Pyramid Clues

Team has collected muons inside Bent Pyramid
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 18, 2016 4:15 AM CST
Cosmic Particles Could Hold Pyramid Clues
In this Nov. 9, 2015, file photo, a screen displays live footage from a thermal camera ahead of a press conference in front of the Khufu Pyramid in Giza, Egypt.   (Nariman El-Mofty)

An international team of researchers said Sunday they will soon begin analyzing cosmic particles collected inside Egypt's Bent Pyramid to search for clues as to how it was built and learn more about the 4,600-year-old structure. The president of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute says that plates planted inside the pyramid last month have collected data on radiographic particles known as muons that rain down from the Earth's atmosphere. The particles pass through empty spaces but can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces. By studying particle accumulations, scientists may learn more about the construction of the pyramid, built by the Pharaoh Snefru.

"For the construction of the pyramids, there is no single theory that is 100% proven or checked. They are all theories and hypotheses," says the institute's VP. "What we are trying to do with the new technology, we would like to either confirm or change or upgrade or modify the hypotheses that we have on how the pyramids were constructed." The Bent Pyramid in Dahshur, just outside Cairo, is distinguished by the bent slope of its sides. It's believed to have been ancient Egypt's first attempt to build a smooth-sided pyramid. The Scan Pyramids project is also planning to test muons in the 4,500-year-old Khufu Pyramid, also known as Cheops or the Great Pyramid. (Last year, scanners found thermal anomalies inside Cheops.)

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