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Robot to penetrate deep inside Cheops pyramid December 6, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology, Science.
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A robot archaeologist is to be sent deep inside Egypt’s largest pyramid in a bid to solve secrets revealed by a first foray more than four years ago, antiquities supremo Zahi Hawass said Thursday.

“The new robot will be sent down very narrow passages in the so-called Queen’s Chamber, where the first robot was sent in 2002,” said Hawass, who heads Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Teams from Egypt and Singapore and a joint group from Britain and Hong Kong plan to insert the robot in February inside the Pyramid of Cheops at Giza, near to Cairo.

Equipped with tiny cameras, the robot will be sent down the chamber’s north and south passages in the hope of discovering what lies behind two inner walls – or doors – revealed during the first robotic expedition in September 2002.

At the time, the robot was sent into a northern shaft leading from the Queen’s Chamber, only to be blocked about 65 meters from the chamber by “a stone wall or door” with copper handles. It also revealed the existence of a similar obstruction the same distance down the south passage.

The robot drilled a tiny hole through this blockage that was large enough to insert a micro camera, which showed a cavity filled with stones – itself closed on the far side by another wall or door.

Archaeologists have always hoped to find clues that might lead them to discover the tomb of Cheops himself. The Pharaoh reigned more than 2,500 years before Christ, and it was he who had the largest pyramid in Egypt built.

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