Scientists discover hidden chambers in Sahura’s pyramid

From left to right: Exterior view of the pyramid. A passage secured with steel beams. One of the discovered storage rooms. Credit: Mohamed Khaled

In a thrilling revelation, a team of Egyptian and German researchers led by Egyptologist Dr. Mohamed Ismail Khaled, from Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg (JMU), have discovered undisclosed storage rooms within the ancient Sahura’s pyramid.

This magnificent structure belonged to Sahura, the second king of the Fifth Dynasty around 2400 BC. Sahura was the first king to be interred at Abusir, and these new finds illuminate unknown aspects of this pyramid’s design and construction.

The expedition, started in 2019, was part of a conservation project to protect the pyramid’s substructure and was backed by the Antiquities Endowment Fund (AEF) of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE).

The team concentrated on cleaning, stabilizing, and preventing further collapses within the pyramid, in the process uncovering parts of the pyramid that were previously unreachable, including the burial chambers.

While working on restoration, the team managed to delineate the original dimensions and floor plan of an antechamber that had degraded over the centuries.

The damaged parts of this antechamber were reconstructed with new retaining walls.

During this phase, they also came across traces of a low passageway noticed by John Perring back in 1836 but had been dismissed by experts during subsequent explorations in 1907.

Perring, during his expedition, had suspected that this concealed passage might lead to hidden storage rooms.

His suspicions were finally confirmed by this new exploration, as the Egyptian-German team found the passage and successfully uncovered eight storerooms.

The discovered rooms, although severely damaged, still contained remnants of the original walls and parts of the floor, revealing more about the pyramid’s internal structure.

The researchers employed modern technology such as 3D laser scanning and a ZEB Horizon portable LiDAR scanner from GeoSLAM, collaborating with the 3D Geoscan team, to conduct meticulous surveys inside the pyramid.

This technology allowed the team to map out both the extensive external areas and the narrow passages and chambers inside the pyramid accurately, providing real-time updates and preserving a permanent record of the exploration efforts.

This blend of historical exploration and advanced technology has provided researchers with a more profound understanding of the pyramid’s interior, aiming for a balance between preservation and presentation.

The discoveries made during this project pave the way for future study and potentially allow the public to witness these ancient marvels firsthand.

This landmark discovery is set to change our perceptions about the construction and purpose of ancient pyramids. By shedding light on the previously unknown aspects of Sahura’s pyramid, the discoveries challenge existing theories and contribute significantly to the field of Egyptology.

These newly discovered storerooms not only verify long-held suspicions but also reveal more about the architectural intricacies of Sahura’s pyramid.

The meticulous restoration and advanced surveying techniques ensure the longevity of these historical treasures while enabling a deeper understanding of our shared human heritage.

In conclusion, the uncovering of these hidden rooms in Sahura’s pyramid is more than a historical find.

It is a journey into the mysteries of ancient civilizations, a step closer to unraveling the secrets of our ancestors, and a testament to the boundless possibilities of discovery when the past meets the future.

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