Robot to Seek Secrets of the Pyramids

LEEDS, England, Aug. 13 (UPI) — British robotics researchers say they’re preparing machines that may help solve an enduring mystery of Egypt’s Great Pyramid at Giza.

A team from Leeds University, working with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, plans to use a small robot to explore a shaft leading from the so-called Queen’s chamber and blocked since ancient times, Britain’s The Independent reports.

Similar shafts lead from another chamber within the pyramid, known as the King’s chamber. Those shafts have been found to lead all the way to the exterior of the pyramid, and are believed to have been intended to allow the soul of King Khufu to escape and take its place with the gods among the stars.

Two shafts from the Queen’s Chamber, however, do not lead to the outside.

Both are blocked. The southern shaft is blocked 200 feet from its starting point by a limestone door with two copper handles.

In 2002 a small hole was drilled in the door — to reveal another door just 8 inches behind it.

The technicians at Leeds University say they hope their robot can follow the shaft to its end.

Named Djedi, after the magician whom Khufu consulted when planning the pyramid, the robot will be able to drill through the second set of doors to see what lies beyond.

“The second door is unlike the first. It looks as if it is screening or covering something,” Dr. Zahi Hawass, the head of the Supreme Council, says.

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