The team of researchers of the ScanPyramids mission has issued a new update as they have presented the Muography results for the Bent Pyramid in Egypt.
Exciting! We have all been passionately waiting for the first results of the ScanPyramids project, and the results are finally here.
In a Facebook post, The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has announced the first results of the Muography performed from the layered pyramid in Dahshur, 40 kilometers south of Cairo. This innovative technology allows researchers to see ‘through’ the monument with the help of muons, elemental cosmic particles which permanently rain down on Earth, allowing researchers to get an ‘inside radiography’ of the monument.
According to researchers, muons permanently reach the Earth traveling at a speed close to the speed of light and a flux around 10,000 per m² per minute. These enigmatic particles originate from the interactions of cosmic rays which are created in the Universe with atoms of Earth upper atmosphere. Just like X-Rays can help doctors see through our body, these “heavy electrons,” can go through hundreds of meters of stones before being absorbed.
This innovative technology is frequently used in volcanology, particularly by the research team of the Nagoya University, which participates in the ScanPyramids mission.
According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Antiquities:
The mission began in 2015, when a team of scientists from the Nagoya University installed in the lower chamber of the pyramid a setup consisting in 40 plates covering a total area of 3.5 m². This setup was retrieved in January 2016 after 40 days of exposure – corresponding to the maximal lifetime of chemical emulsions within the temperature and humidity conditions inside the pyramid.
These films were then developed in a dedicated lab installed at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), and shipped to Nagoya University for analysis. From these plates, more than 10 Millions of muon tracks were reconstructed, with a spectacular result: for the first time ever, the internal structure of a pyramid was revealed with muon particles. The images obtained indeed show the second chamber of the pyramid, located roughly 18 meters above the lower one in which emulsions plates were installed.
The available statistics from the 40 days of exposure is not yet sufficient to precisely reveal the known corridors. However, various simulations were performed by randomly placing, within the field of view, a hypothetic chamber of size similar or larger than the upper one. Compared with the results obtained by the Japanese team, these simulations could validate the fact there is no additional chamber of this size in the surroundings.
This scientific breakthrough validates the muography principle applied to Egyptian pyramids.
Researchers are now planning to adapt the used technique at the Bent Pyramid in other monuments in Egypt. However, researchers of the University of Nagoya are planning to deploy two additional electronic instruments which will help in the search for the hidden secrets of Pyramids and other monuments.
#ScanPyramids mission (www.scanpyramids.org) was launched on 25 October 2015 under the authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and is led by Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, and HIP.Institute (www.hip.institute) , Paris (Heritage, Innovation and Preservation Institute). This project aims at scanning, over a year, some of the Egyptian Pyramids: Khufu, Khafre, the Bent and the Red Pyramids. #ScanPyramids combines several non-invasive and non-destructive scanning techniques in order to try to detect the presence of any unknown internal structures and cavities in ancient monuments, which may lead to a better understanding of their structure and their construction processes / techniques. This mission is using, today, Infrared thermography, muon tomography and 3D reconstruction techniques.