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Scientists Just Revealed a Secret Corridor in the Great Pyramid of Giza—and It Could Lead to More

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Egyptian antiquities officials have confirmed the existence of a hidden corridor above the main entrance of the Great Pyramid of Giza that dates back some 4,500 years, a discovery that could lead to further findings.

The corridor, located on the northern side of the Pyramid of Khufu, was first detected in 2016 using an imaging technique called muography. Located above the main entrance of the pyramid, it measures nearly 30 feet in length and is over six feet wide. The Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed as a monumental tomb during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu around 2560 BC. It is one of three pyramids that make up the Great Pyramids of Giza, the last of the surviving Seven Wonders of the World.

The discovery was announced by Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass and the country’s Minister for Tourism Ahmed Eissa on Thursday at an unveiling ceremony outside the pyramid and was credited to a team of scientists with the ScanPyramids Projects, an international program that uses non-invasive technology to look at unexplored sections of the ancient structure.

New secret passage was discovered in Great Pyramid of Giza
Former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs of Egypt Zahi Hawass speaks to the press about the new secret passage in Giza, Egypt on March 02, 2023.Fareed Kotb—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Officials said it might have been created to redistribute the weight around either the pyramid’s entrance or a potentially undiscovered chamber. In 2017, scientists discovered another sealed, 98-foot chamber inside the Pyramid of Khufu.

“We’re going to continue our scanning so we will see what we can do… to figure out what we can find out beneath it, or just by the end of this corridor,” said Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, according to BBC.

Despite being one of the oldest and largest monuments in the world, there is little consensus on how the Pyramids were built. An article published in the science journal Nature said that the discovery could lead to further findings on the construction of the Pyramids.

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Write to Simmone Shah at simmone.shah@time.com