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No. 55: Jan-Feb 1988

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Curious sand-filled cavities in the great pyramid

"Japanese and French experts are investigating a new mystery at the 4,000-year-old pyramids -- why the pharaohs built geometrical cavities inside the Great Pyramid of Cheops and filled them with mineral-enriched sifted sand.

"From the outside, the pyramid appears to be built of solid blocks of limestone. But two French architects, Gilles Dormion and Jean Patrice Goidin, discovered cavities which could total 15 to 20 per cent of the structure.


"The French team used an instrument which measures differences in gravity to find the internal spaces. They then drilled small holes through the 1.0-metre blocks and found sand -- but not ordinary sand from the nearby desert.

"Laboratory tests showed it came from another part of Egypt and was sifted and enriched with minerals before being placed inside the pyramid by the ancient architects."

(Fouad, Ashraf; Vancouver Sun, March 7, 1987. Cr. G. Conway via L. Farish.)

The French results were subsequently confirmed by a Japanese team.

(Buccianti, Alexandre; "Des Scientifiques Japonais Confirment les Traveaux de la Mission Francaise,: Le Monde, p. 18, February 4, 1987. Cr. C. Mauge.)

From Science Frontiers #55, JAN-FEB 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987