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Scans Aim to Probe Heart of Egypt’s Pyramids

The project hopes to shed light on the methods used to construct the pyramids and uncover any hidden chambers or corridors.

. Egypt's Antiquities Ministry says a scanning project in the Giza pyramids has identified thermal anomalies, including one in the largest of the three pyramids, known locally as Khufu and internationally as Cheops.

According to the mission's website, it will "probe the heart of the largest pyramids of Egypt, without drilling the slightest opening."

Above: Khufu is photographed on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015.

Nariman El-Mofty / AP

. The thermal scanning was carried out during sunrise, as the sun heats the structures from the outside, and then during sunset as the pyramids are cooling down. The speeds of the heating and cooling phases were used to uncover "hypotheses" about empty areas in the pyramids, internal air currents and different building materials used.

Above: The pyramid of Khufu on Nov. 9, 2015.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

. The ministry said in a statement Monday that the first phase of the scanning has shown "a particularly impressive one [anomaly] located on the Eastern side of the Khufu pyramid."

Above: Horses run in front of workers as they wait for tourists at the Giza pyramids on Nov. 8, 2015.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

. Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty invited all Egyptologists to join in the research and to help come up with ideas on what could be behind the anomalies.

Above: The Great Pyramids and Sphinx in Giza, south of Cairo, are lit up in blue for the 70th anniversary of the United Nations on Oct. 24, 2015.

Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images

. The pyramids, which were used as sacred burial structures, were built in the fourth Pharaonic dynasty, more than 4,500 years ago.

Above: Tourists ride in horse carriages past one of the Great Pyramids in 2012.

Petr David Josek / AP