The shafts in the Queen's Chamber of the Great Pyramid in Egypt were explored in 1993 by the German engineer Rudolf Gantenbrink using a crawler robot he designed, Upuaut 2. After a climb of 65 m (213 ft), he discovered that one of the shafts was blocked by a limestone "door" with two eroded copper "handles". The National Geographic Society created a similar robot which, in September 2002, drilled a small hole in the southern door only to find another stone slab behind it. The northern passage, which was difficult to navigate because of its twists and turns, was also found to be blocked by a slab.
Research continued in 2011 with the Djedi Project which used a fibre-optic "micro snake camera" that could see around corners. With this, they were able to penetrate the first door of the southern shaft through the hole drilled in 2002, and view all the sides of the small chamber behind it. They discovered hieroglyphics written in red paint. Egyptian mathematics researcher Luca Miatello stated that the markings read "121" Ð the length of the shaft in cubits.
The Djedi team were also able to scrutinize the inside of the two copper "handles" embedded in the door, which they now believe to be for decorative purposes. They additionally found the reverse side of the "door" to be finished and polished, which suggests that it was not put there just to block the shaft from debris, but rather for a more specific reason.
Pyramid-Exploring Robot Reveals Hidden Hieroglyphs Discovery - May 27, 2011
A composite of images of the floor of the Great Pyramid is shown. Red hieroglyphs are visible.
A robot explorer called Djedi, sent through the Great Pyramid of Giza has begun to unveil some of the secrets behind the 4,500-year-old pharaonic mausoleum as it transmitted the first images behind one of its mysterious doors. The images revealed hieroglyphs written in red paint that have not been seen by human eyes since the construction of the pyramid. The pictures also unveiled new details about two puzzling copper pins embedded in one of the so called secret doors or Gantenbrink's Door. The back of the pins curve back on themselves. Why? What was the purpose of these pins? The loops seem too small to serve a mechanical purpose. The new information dismisses the hypothesis that the copper pins were handles, and might point to an ornamental purpose. Also, the back of the door is polished so it must have been important. It doesn't look like it was a rough piece of stone used to stop debris getting into the shaft. The Djedi robot is expected to reveal much more in the next months. Two shafts, extend from the upper, or "King's Chamber" and exit into open air. But the lower two, one on the south side and one on the north side in the so-called "Queen's Chamber" disappear within the structures, deepening the pyramid mystery.
Pyramid Hieroglyphs Likely Engineering Numbers Discovery - June 7, 2011
Mysterious hieroglyphs written in red paint on the floor of a hidden chamber in Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza are just numbers, according to a mathematical analysis of the 4,500-year-old mausoleum. Shown to the world last month, when the first report of a robot exploration of the Great Pyramid was published in the Annales du Service Des Antiquities de l'Egypte (ASAE), the images revealed features that have not been seen by human eyes since the construction of the monument. Researchers were particularly intrigued by three red ochre figures painted on the floor of a hidden chamber at the end of a tunnel deep inside the pyramid. Luca Miatello, an independent researcher who specializes on ancient Egyptian mathematics, believes he has some answers. The markings are hieratic numerical signs. They read from right to left, meaning 100, 20, 1. The builders simply recorded the total length of the shaft: 121 cubits. The two main figures are similar to the hieratic number 21. The royal cubit, the ancient Egyptian unit of measurement used in the construction of the pyramid, was between 52.3 and 52.5 cm (20.6 to 20.64 inches) in length, and was subdivided into seven palms of four digits (four fingers) each, making it a 28-part measure.
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