November 3, 2017

"We have chosen the word ‘void’ and nothing else because we don’t know what this void is."

"We don’t know if it’s a chamber, a tunnel, a big gallery or things like that," said the co-director of the ScanPyramids project, which used cosmic-ray collisions to detect a 100-foot long "void" inside the Great Pyramid, reported in the NYT.

Big deal?
Mark Lehner, an Egyptologist from Ancient Egypt Research Associates, said that previous work had shown that the ancient Egyptians most likely constructed gaps in their pyramids and that the voids the team found are nothing special, or new.

“The great pyramid of Khufu is more Swiss cheese than cheddar,” he said. He added that the steep incline of the void also casts doubts on whether it was some sort of room. “At that angle, it doesn’t make much sense for it to be a chamber that would contain artifacts, burials and objects and that sort of thing.”
By the way, did the ancient Egyptians have cheese?
The manufacture of cheese is depicted in murals in Egyptian tombs from 2,000 BC. Two alabaster jars found at Saqqara, dating from the First Dynasty of Egypt, contained cheese. These were placed in the tomb about 3,000 BC. They were likely fresh cheeses coagulated with acid or a combination of acid and heat. An earlier tomb, that of King Hor-Aha may also have contained cheese which, based on the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the two jars, appear to be from Upper and Lower Egypt. The pots are similar to those used today when preparing mish.

30 comments:

EDH said...

Just don't use the term "vault" or tell Geraldo Rivera.

brylun said...

I've been all over the world, and to Egypt 5 times, and the pyramids are the most amazing object of human construction anywhere, in my opinion. I've been inside Khufu it's pretty empty with most of the treasures moved to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Nonapod said...

Some commentor on Ars Technica said yesterday: "That's obviously where the stargate is."

rcocean said...

Some people are fascinated by them, but I always found the ancient Egyptians rather dull compared to the Greeks and Romans. They weren't much on adventure or scholarship.

CStanley said...

So Ben Carson was right?

Jimmy said...

Mish sounds pretty tasty ... you can make it at home! http://www.dish-away.com/2012/09/mish-recipe.html

brylun said...

As for the Greeks, the Parthenon is nice, but it was being demolished by local residents who used the marble in their kitchens. The British did the world a great favor by removing the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon and preserving them in the British Museum.

That said, the 3 main pyramids are much older...and much larger in size!

Ann Althouse said...

"I've been all over the world, and to Egypt 5 times, and the pyramids are the most amazing object of human construction anywhere..."

I'm thinking cheese is more amazing.

Ann Althouse said...

You can have a world without pyramids or a world without cheese?

Come on, you'd pick cheese.

You can't make pizza with a pyramid. You can't even make a grilled cheese sandwich.

brylun said...

As for cheese, "A moment of pleasure on the lips, a lifetime on the hips."

Not so with the pyramids.

Henry said...

My bet is shifiting fill

Brian Balster said...

It's cheese, It's cheese, it's cheese that makes the world go round

Ferananidinande said...

The pyramids are hollow, like those rip-off chocolate Easter Bunnies.

rhhardin said...

(void*), a pointer to void, is the serious programmer's defense against strongly typed languages.

traditionalguy said...

Say cheese.

William said...

The first people to send slaving expeditions into Africa were the Egyptians. The gold was located in Nubia, and the Egyptians hunted down Nubians to work the mines there. The Egyptians were guilty of the original original sin. It's long past time we stopped honoring these slave owners.

southcentralpa said...

Maybe they suspect it was/is existential...

Assrat said...

The first structure taller than the Great Pyramid was the Eiffel Tower.

The engineering history behind the pyramids is mind boggling.

Gunbunny62 said...

Chariot parking only.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Do you suppose the The Pharaoh got billed for voids at the full stone rate?

Unknown said...

Are these voids structural in some way, making the pyramids stronger? IDK, I'm not an engineer.

-sw

rehajm said...

My new house has these voids. Code requires an access door if the void is over a certain size.

Assrat said...

>Are these voids structural in some way, making the pyramids stronger?

I'm not an engineer either, but I don't think voids would make the structure stronger. What they will do is reduce the weight of the overall structure. Maybe the lowest stones couldn't bear the weight, and the voids act a bit like the gaps between spokes on a wheel.

tcrosse said...

That's what happens when you let out the Pyramid contract to the lowest bidder.

Yancey Ward said...

Cutting and moving the stones was a Herculean task at the time. A smart pyramid builder would try to minimize the effort required by leaving voids where he could.

Yancey Ward said...

Possible things that might be found in the void:

Gold, mummies, art, Trump's tax returns, Clinton's e-mails, Jimmy Hoffa, aliens, Obama's real birth certificate, Inga's mummified brain, ARM's integrity, Chuck's Republican Party registration, Laslo's girlfriend's body, TTR's mental filter.

Qwinn said...

Yancey:

*applause*

Eric Landgraf said...

Is there a Monty Python "cheese" skit?

I am not a robot but I am a cyborg and I have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. Do I win a prize?

Molly said...

There is a Monty Python cheese shop skit, but I think it's a bit runnier than you'll like.

Assrat said...

>There is a Monty Python cheese shop skit, but I think it's a bit runnier than you'll like.

While I very much doubt anyone involved in Monty Python knew about the American World War II-era radio comedy Lum and Abner, there is an episode which is uncannily similar to "Cheeseshop." The story had the main characters trying to get lunch at a diner, only to be stymied at every turn by ration rules, until the owner finally confesses they have no food at all.