Egyptian archaeologists will use a novel technology based on detection of cosmic rays to non-destructively scan what lies beneath the surface of ancient pyramids, in the hope to find hidden chambers.
The technique, which has been used previously to look under the surface of pyramids in Mexico and Belize as well as into the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor, requires installing sensitive detectors throughout the pyramids to analyse how cosmic rays propagate through the rocks.
The team behind the project, which includes scientists from Japan, France, Canada and Egypt, said that though mildly invasive, the method is completely non-destructive.
The project will include four pyramids from the Old Kingdom era of ancient Egypt, each more than 4,500 years old.
The work will kick off at the end of October with the Brent Pyramid at Dashour. The two largest pyramids at the Giza plateau, the world famous Cheops pyramid and the Chepran pyramid, will also be scanned.
At a news conference, scientist Matthieu Klein of Canada's Laval University said his team will use infra-red technology to scan several metres beneath the surface without touching the structures.
"There could be interesting things there, even a few metres deep, two or three blocks deep."