German researchers who stole samples from Cheops Pyramid apologize
Pyramids - courtesy of "Classic" Facebook page

CAIRO: Two German researchers who took samples without official permission from the Great Pyramid of Giza apologized to the Egyptian people over the incident, saying they meant no harm.

The two researchers, Dominique Goerlitz and Stefan Erdmann, said they hope the antiquities minister and the Egyptian people accept their apology and added they were ready to pay any compensation, MENA reported.

They said they obtained a few milligrams chipped of the ceiling of the burial chamber and milligrams of the red pigment of the cartouche. The purpose was purely scientific, they added.

Goerlitz said he got official permit from the Egyptian authorities to access King Cheops Pyramid in April and thought that the permit covers all opened areas inside the pyramid, including all chambers. He added that Erdmann has entered the Fifth Chamber three times in the past ten years with official permits.

According to Goerlitz, Erdmann has been conducting an investigation into ancient Egyptian culture, especially the Great Giza Pyramid, more than 20 years ago but in 2007 discovered strange dark areas on the granite piers of the ceiling of the King’s burial chamber and no experts seemed interested about the revelation when he consulted them. He further noted in he met Erdmann in 2012 and joined him in the investigation.

When a visit permit was granted to them in April, they had no intention to take any samples from the pyramid; the decision was made when they were inside, he noted. He expressed astonishment that the Antiquities Ministry considered the act a crime although the government before the January 25 Revolution allowed access to these chambers without reservations.

No Egyptians, especially antiquities inspectors and security men who were with them on April 17, were involved in taking the samples, he said, adding he hopes no penalties were taken against them.

In an effort to prove that the Great Pyramids are 15,000 years older than they really are, the two amateur archaeologists carved off samples from the walls of the ancient burial chamber and brought them back home for analysis. They claim that the Great Pyramids were merely “refurbished” by the Old Kingdom Pharaohs credited with its construction in the 26th Century BC. They argue the official dating of the pyramids is solely based on the presence of the ancient red cartouche.

The documentary showed them during their secret trip inside Cheops Pyramid and the difficulty they faced in reaching the cartouche. The aim of the documentary, according to the researchers, was to reveal the secrets of the pyramid’s construction and its date. Their website posted a trailer of the documentary called “The Cheops Project.” The project’s aim was to verify the authenticity of the cartouche, claiming that it could have been faked by its discoverer, British researcher Howard Vyse, in 1837.

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