ancient civilizations

What’s inside the Egyptian pyramids?

Fantastic World

Every wonder what is really inside the pyramids of Giza and the surrounding area? There have been rumors for centuries of hidden chambers, filled with either precious scrolls or beautiful treasure. There even was a team that set out for Giza in the 1990s and found with ground-penetrating radar that there is a large rectangular, box-shaped, hollow anomaly hidden in the area in front of the Sphinx’s paws. No one has ever excavated the area, so no one knows if it’s a hidden chamber or not.
But it’s not the Sphinx, but the pyramids that soon will be investigated internally by the “Scan Pyramid” program, which is sponsored by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. The scans and tests have been initiated, designed and coordinated by the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo and the French HIP Institute (Heritage, Innovation and Preservation). Cosmic particles, infrared thermography, photogrammetry, scanner and 3D reconstruction will be used to peer into and reconstruct what is inside of the pyramids. Researchers of international renown and three major universities, the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo University, Université Laval of Quebec and Nagoya University of Japan, will lend their expertise to the project.
The scanning project is due to start in early November. It will focus on  on the site of Dahshur, about fifteen kilometers south of Saqqara: the South pyramid, called the Bent; and the North pyramid, called the Red, both reputaed to have been built by Snefru (2575 – 2551 BC). On the Giza plateau at about twenty kilometers from Cairo (see map), it will study the pyramids of Khufu (the Great Pyramid) and Khafre, said to be built by the son and grandson of Snefru. (Actually no one knows who built these specific pyramids, because the identifying factors are so vague and no actual names–except that of Khufu–have been found of any of the pyramids.)
The company Iconem plans to created a 3-D representation of the field of Giza using drones and photogrammerty, the since of making measurements from photographs.

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DNA tests may answer Machu Picchu questions


Machu Picchu is a traveler’s dream destination. Standing 8,000 feet above sea level, the ancient Incan monument is one of Peru’s most beautiful locations. However, although archeologists estimate it was built in the 15th century, they have no idea what Machu Picchu was intended to be—palace, temple, settlement, resting plot for the dead?

The building, which goes up the side of a mountain, is a technical marvel because the huge stones used to build Machu Picchu are fitted together without mortar, yet you cannot fit a piece of paper between the blocks. There are also steeped terraces that not only provided spaces for planting but also guarded against flooding.

Using ancient DNA gathered from 170 individuals who are buried at the Peruvian site, Dr. Brenda Bradley, associate professor of anthropology at George Washington University, and a team of researchers have been analyzing the genomes of the skeletal remains to try to understand who the residents were and from where they came. Back in 1911, Hiram Bingham studied the “lost city of the Incas,” (so-called because the Incans abandoned the site in the 16th century). He dug up many bones and relics, which were housed at the Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven until 2012. They were then moved to the Peru-Yale University International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture. Before the bones were transferred Dr. Bradley and her team got a chance to get DNA samples.

Dr. Bradley plans to use the latest methods to sequence the DNA samples.

Machu Picchu

“With ancient human DNA, you always have to worry about contamination,” Dr. Bradley said to  the website Phys.Org. “If you replicate the experiment in a different lab with different researchers, and you find the same results, that is the gold standard.”

Most researchers believe the giant building was a royal retreat, a Camp David of sorts for visiting dignitaries and guests. This is where Emperor Pachacuti would have held court for meetings. Archeologists say the building shows that people were often crafts specialists brought in from other areas of the empire.

The genetic analysis will look at what the relationship were between the people there, and whether they were of the same ancestral lineal

“One thing that makes Machu Picchu so interesting is the idea that actually the population buried there doesn’t reflect just a local population,” Dr. Lars Fehren-Schmitz of the University of California, Santa Cruz, told

Machu Picchu was a pre-Spanish conquest building and shows the amazing abilities of the Incans, who did not rely on European methods of building.

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