Only A Few Objects Have Ever Been Recovered From Inside The Great Pyramid

Only A Few Objects Have Ever Been Recovered From Inside The Great Pyramid

Despite two centuries of excavations and archaeological investigations in Giza, only three items have ever been retrieved from within the Great Pyramid. Known collectively as the Dixon Relics, the trio of artifacts was discovered in 1872 by Waynman Dixon and James Grant, although we still don’t know what they are.

The pair came across the antiques while exploring an air shaft leading from the Queen’s Chamber, which lies inside the Great Pyramid – also known as the Pyramid of Khufu. Newspaper reports from the time of the discovery suggested that the items may have been tools that were used in the construction of the iconic landmark, yet the exact function of the ancient objects remains a topic of debate to this day.

After leaving Egypt, Dixon himself kept hold of two of the objects, both of which are now housed in the British Museum in London. This antique pairing consists of a small stone ball and a hooked copper item in the shape of a dove’s tail. According to the museum, the items appear to be tools that may have been used by construction workers, although they could also have been placed in the pyramid in order to allow King Khufu’s departing spirit to exit the chamber and travel to the afterlife.

Grant, meanwhile, kept possession of the third relic – a 13-centimeter (five-inch) piece of cedar wood that was once part of a larger wooden object within the pyramid. In the 1940s, Grant’s daughter donated the item to the University of Aberdeen, yet it was apparently not properly classified and immediately went missing.

It wasn’t until 2019 that researchers stumbled upon the object, which was hiding inside a cigar tin within the University’s Asia collection. More than seven decades after taking possession of the ancient item, Egyptologists finally had a chance to study it, with radiocarbon dating revealing that it was first crafted some time between 3341 and 3094 BCE, more than 500 years before the Great Pyramid was constructed.

Despite this revelation, archaeologists still can’t say for sure what the object is, although some have proposed that it may be part of a measuring rule that was used during the building of the Great Pyramid. Naturally, it would help if researchers could access the larger item from which this fragment came, although this is currently stuck in an inaccessible cavity within the pyramid and was last seen using a robotic camera in 1993.

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