Photo/IllutrationKunihiro Morishima, an assistant professor at Nagoya University, explains the void found within the Great Pyramid of Khufu in Egypt, at a news conference in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Nov. 6. (Nobutaro Kaji)

Japanese researchers fired back after an Egyptian archaeologist and other experts said the discovery of a “void” within the Great Pyramid of Khufu on the outskirts of Cairo was a whole lot of nothing.

The finding of the void by an international team, including Japanese researchers from Nagoya University and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, was published Nov. 2 in the online edition of the British science journal Nature.

However, the Egyptian archaeologist and other critics on Nov. 4 told Agence France-Presse that the finding was not a new “discovery.”

They are quoted as saying that the pyramid is full of empty spaces, meaning that the team may not have found a secret chamber, according to AFP.

The Nagoya University researchers defended their findings of the void, believed to be more than 30 meters long, during a news conference in Tokyo on Nov. 6.

“The size of the void is completely different from conventional knowledge. The criticism seems based on a misconception,” said Kunihiro Morishima, an assistant professor of physics at Nagoya University.

“From a structural perspective, it is only natural that there are narrow spaces within a pyramid because huge stones were assembled to build the structure,” he continued. “However, the huge void found this time is completely different from those spaces.”

The Japanese researchers said they scanned the pyramid with muons, subatomic particles that can pass through bedrock even 1 kilometer thick, and uncovered the void near its center.