Using Remote Sensing to Scan Egypt’s Pyramids

A Guest Post by Jenny Reilly (MSc in GIS)

The 21st century has come to archaeology and it’s here to stay. The Egyptian Minister of Antiquities has just announced that a technique called Cosmic Ray Radiography (among others) will be used to scan several of the pyramids. This technique was notably used to assess the damage at the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in Japan. Researchers will measure the energy and trajectory of Muons, a particle similar to an electron, which changes trajectory based on the density of what it hits. Researchers hope to make a 3D model of the interior of the pyramids, perhaps finding hidden rooms. This project will be carried out by Cairo University, Universit√© Laval, and Nagoya University and will continue until the end of 2016.

The “Scan Pyramids” project is one of many that will help us to learn more about the ancient world around us. Work like this is imperative to the improvement of the field of archaeology. Up to, and including, the present, archaeology has been a destructive science. In an effort to save the artefacts of the past that we hold so dear, archaeologists must learn how to use and develop remote sensing techniques.

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