Robot to explore mysterious tunnels inside the Great Pyramid

Coupe et distribution interne de la grande pyr...

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Egypt has always fascinated me, and I can’t really say why. Corollary to that fascination, though, is a sort of Lovecraftian nameless fear – there’s something chilling, I think, about the still-standing ruins, the stones erected thousands of years before the birth of Christ, the bizarre forms of the desert gods, the imperious pharaohs. So naturally, the headline above sent a shiver down my spine.

It’s strange enough that the Great Pyramid has interior shafts. Two of them, rising from the King’s Chamber, are “believed to be a passageway designed to fire the king’s spirit into the firmament so that he can take his place among the stars.” But there are other tunnels inside the pyramid. Tunnels that don’t lead to the exterior. Tiny, inaccessible tunnels, with creepy and inexplicably lilliputian doors:

In the Queen’s Chamber, there are two further
shafts, discovered in 1872. Unlike those in the King’s Chamber, these do
not lead to the outer face of the pyramid
.

No
one knows what the shafts are for. In 1992, a camera sent up the shaft
leading from the south wall of the Queen’s Chamber discovered it was
blocked after 60 metres by a limestone door with two copper handles. In
2002, a further expedition drilled through this door and revealed, 20
centimetres behind it, a second door.

Driven by morbid curiosity (and no doubt more than a little dread), researchers have designed remote-controlled robots to explore the shafts and drill through the doors:

Now technicians at Leeds University are putting the finishing touches to
a robot which, they hope, will follow the shaft to its end. Known as
the Djedi project, after the magician whom Khufu consulted when planning
the pyramid, the robot will be able to drill through the second set of
doors to see what lies beyond.

You can read more here. I shiver to think of what, if anything, may lie on the other side.

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