10.11.2017 change 13.11.2017

Pyramid of nonsense, or the new discovery in the Pyramid of Cheops

In the foreground the Sphinx, behind it the Pyramid of Cheops. Photo by Szymon Zdziebłowski In the foreground the Sphinx, behind it the Pyramid of Cheops. Photo by Szymon Zdziebłowski

The Pyramid of Cheops is the most famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Researchers will soon use flying robots to explore it. This can be dangerous, because pyramid builders are known for creating traps! - the media report. But none of this is true.

A new discovery of empty space inside the Pyramid of Cheops near Cairo, Egypt, was a hot topic not only on our national portals, but the media all over the world. I could not stop reading the websites of leading Polish media - radio stations, magazines and TV stations.

While the main source of information for all of them was an article published by researchers in Nature, I got the impression that few authors actually read that text.

I learned, for example, that the Pyramid of Cheops was "the most famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings" (Valley of the Kings is a necropolis in the south of Egypt, where rulers were buried in rock tombs); that for further research on the mysterious void, scientists will use "flying robots" (sic!) (there are plans to use miniature devices on caterpillar tracks to penetrate the narrow corridor near the detected void); that pyramid builders used traps (tombs were indeed masked, but balls that followed robbers like in Indiana Jones movies or spiked floors - that I have never heard of in the context of ancient Egypt).

Not to mention such inaccuracies as the volume of the void - some media report that it may be up to 30 m (in fact, researchers say it is at least 30 m).

Translation of the quote in "Nature" is also interesting. The researchers write that it is "the first such large internal structure discovered in the Great Pyramid since the 19th century". In media reports, this sentence is blown to the description of the find as "the first such important discovery since the nineteenth century". Almost as if the second tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered!

The icing on the cake is the wrong illustration of the find - many articles are accompanied by a photo of... the Pyramid of Khafre, located next to the Great Pyramid. Why? Hard to say. Probably because this structure is more presentable.

Unlike the Pyramid of Cheops, the top of the Pyramid of Khafre is still covered with casting stones. This mistake was made even by the BBC News science service, which also reported on the discovery. The error was noticed and the picture was quickly replaced, fortunately. (But, for example, it still remains on the website of one of the Polish national newspapers).

The errors I have quoted in this post are still on Polish web pages. I intentionally refrain from providing links, but it is very easy to find them. Good hunting! I wish you a successful and critical reading!


Szymon Zdziebłowski


tr. RL

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