The Arab Republic of Egypt Ministry of Antiquities announced at a press conference on Thursday the discovery of a hidden corridor within Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza.

The 30-foot long corridor was discovered through a project called ScanPyramids, a scientific mission launched by the ministry in 2015,  initiated, designed and coordinated by the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo University and the French HIP (Heritage, Innovation and Preservation) Institute..

Led by a team of international researchers, ScanPyramids uses the “muon radiography” method to scan for hidden cavities within Egypt’s pyramids. After this method identified the Giza pyramid’s corridor, researchers fed an endoscopic camera through an opening between the stone blocks above the pyramid’s entrance and captured video from inside the corridor.

At the press conference former Egyptian antiquities minister, Dr. Zahi Hawass, talked about the significance of the discovery and the possibility of learning more about Khufu, the second king of the Fourth Dynasty in Egypt (c. 2575–c. 2465 B.C.), for whom the Great Pyramid of Giza was built in the 26th century B.C.

“It will give us many important facts about Khufu and his pyramid,” Hawass said“This is why I believe that this discovery that happened today could be the most important discovery of the century.”

Khufu’s reign and that of his son Khafre were represented by the Greek historian Herodotus as 106 years of oppression and misery, but this was belied by Khufu’s posthumous reputation in Egypt as a wise ruler.”

Hawass noted that the corridor was found behind the main entrance of the Great Pyramid and added that, in his opinion, “the real burial chamber of Khufu should be underneath that tunnel.”

While the purpose of the corridor is currently a mystery, it may be “protecting or reducing the pressure on something beneath it,” according to Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

ScanPyramids has made significant discoveries in the past. One such discovery took place in 2017, when scientists found a massive, “plane-sized” cavity towards the center of the Great Pyramid.

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