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Story highlights

Infrared scans of Great Pyramid have found a "thermal anomaly"

This could be explained by "voids behind the surface"

(CNN) —  

Could there be secret tombs and unknown treasures hidden within the Great pyramid of Giza?

Scans on the pyramids of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, have found “several thermal anomalies,” which may be explained by “voids behind the surface,” according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

The investigation has found one “particularly impressive” anomaly at the Khufu pyramid – the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing and the largest Pyramid ever built.

The results have come just two weeks into Operation Scan Pyramids, which will last until the end of 2016. The scientific mission uses “noninvasive visualization techniques,” including 3-D scans with lasers and drones, to see inside the pyramids.

Scientists using Infrared techonology at the Giza pyramids in Egypt
Philippe Bourseiller for HIP.Institute / Faculty of Enginering Cairo/Ministry of Antiquities
Scientists using Infrared techonology at the Giza pyramids in Egypt

“The teams have concluded the existence of several thermal anomalies that were observed on all monuments during the heating-up or the cooling-down phases,” a statement released by the Ministry of Antiquities said.

The infrared team detected the impressive anomaly on the eastern side of the Khufu pyramid, which is over 4,500 years old.

A six degrees gap was detected was detected between neighbouring blocks
Philippe Bourseiller for HIP.Institute / Faculty of Enginering Cairo/Ministry of Antiquities
A six degrees gap was detected was detected between neighbouring blocks

Scan Pyramids use techniques including “infrared thermography” and “cosmic particle detectors” to “detect the presence of any unknown internal structures and cavities in ancient monuments, which may lead to a better understanding of their structure and their construction processes.”

Other anomalies were detected at the smaller Khafre pyramid of Giza and two pyramids in Dahshur, about 20 kilometers to the south.

“All anomalies detected and data collected will now be subject to further treatment and data analysis.”

In the next stage of the project, the Scan Pyramids team will start “3-D modeling and simulations of the Giza plateau.”

The Egyptian antiquities minister, Mamduh al-Damati, said to reporters at a press conference, “Khufu will offer us today one of its secrets.”

The investigation, coordinated by the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo University and the HIP Institute, has the motto, “Just because a mystery is 4,500 years old doesn’t mean it can’t be solved…”

They made no comment, however, on Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson’s theory that Egypt’s pyramids were used to store grain.