Dentist plans to unlock secrets of Mexican pyramid

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 October, 2011, 12:00am


A Hong Kong dentist known for his passion for scientific exploration has been invited to help design a robot to examine a secret tunnel deep in a 1,800-year-old Mexican pyramid.

Ng Tze-chuen, 58, said he was invited by the Mexican government to join the exploration of the Temple of the Feathered Serpent because of his good track record, which includes setting up a team of international scientists for a third attempt at investigating a secret chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Dr Sergio Gomez, an archaeologist with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, invited Ng to aid the investigation of the temple in Teotihuacan in August. A secret tunnel was discovered by chance in 2003 after heavy rain washed away sand on the surface, 'leaving a hole on the ground'. Teotihuacan, north of Mexico City, is the best known archaeological site in the country.

On his visit to the pyramid, Ng said: 'The entrance is frightening. It looks like a monster is living inside.' The robot they will build must travel along a 120-metre tunnel that is 13 metres underground. The team expects to find imperial burial remains.

Ng will not be paid for his work; rather, he had to dig into his own pocket to design and build a prototype of the robot. But he enjoys the adventure such projects bring and values their historical significance.

'It's important that we follow our dreams, not just money,' he said.

The dentist, who has practised in Causeway Bay for 30 years, is known for his involvement in world-class science projects, including an unsuccessful attempt by British scientists to land a spacecraft on Mars in 2003.

He has also been invited by the Egyptian government to find the tomb of doomed lovers Cleopatra and Mark Antony. He will work with Kathleen Martinez, a lawyer turned archaeologist, on delivering 'the most important discovery of the 21st century'.