New Robot to Explore Shafts in the Great Pyramid of Khufu

New Robot to Explore Shafts in the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops)
August 11, 2004

Cairo - The University of Singapore will begin constructing a new robot to explore a mystery door in the Great Pyramid of Giza, a statement by the Supreme Council for Antiquities said on Wednesday.

The statement quoted SCA Secretary General Zahi Hawass as saying that Singapore will begin constructing the robot in September in preparation for another exploration of the pyramid next year.

In 2002, a robot constructed by the Chicago University in the US and a US company crawled into a tunnel leading to a mysterious stone resembling a door and drilled through it, only to find a second door. This tunnel, or shaft, led from the southern wall of the so-called Queen's chamber. It also explored the northern shaft in the same chamber, which an earlier robot was unable to navigate, and discovered a second door in that shaft as well.

The earlier robot was UPUAUT 2 (Wepwawet), which in 1993 was sent up the southern shaft and discovered the door.

Hawass said Singapore will finance the second such exploration to find what lies behind the second door in the southern shaft. The 2002 exploration cost $250 000.

"It is impossible that these doors are only symbolic or were just built for King Khufu... Behind these doors are secrets that the robot can uncover," Hawass said.

The SCA official said there were 118 pyramids in Egypt, none of which have doors such as those found in the Great Pyramid of Giza.

"We need to explore these doors to find more information on ancient Egyptians," he said.