Dentist to probe ‘cavities’ inside Great Pyramid – and unlock the Pharaoh’s last secret chambers, unseen for 4,500 years
A Hong Kong dentist is wielding forceps to help solve the last mystery of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
He is part of a team that hopes to to solve the mystery surrounding the doors blocking two narrow shafts in the pyramid, which is the tomb of the Pharaoh Cheops, also known as Khufu.
The shafts have puzzled archaeologists since they were found in 1872 – with some speculating that Khufu’s burial chamber lies beyond, with fabulous treasure possibly within.
Ng Tze-chuen, 59 has designed a tiny ‘gripper’ for an insect-sized robot which will finally reach beyond the doors inside the pyramid.
The robot will travel up the shafts, which are so narrow only a small robot could fit, to eventually drill through the two doors. It carries a camera to record what it finds.
The international team, which will take the name Djedi – after the magician with whom Khufu is thought to have consulted for the pyramid layout – plans to use the robot this spring, depending on when the license to do so will be issued, Ng said.
‘The Chinese have more experience with chopsticks. And a dentist has more experience in gripping with forceps,’ said Ng.
‘Why Egypt is so interesting, it’s because of the hieroglyphics. It’s like a detective story. It’s all waiting for me to use my grippers.’
Inspired by dental forceps – he has designed 70 of his own to properly grip the tricky crevices of patients’ teeth – Ng said his team will mount tiny grippers on an insect-sized robot expected to gently trek the winding shafts of the pyramid without causing damage to the walls.