Japanese researchers have gone high-tech in an effort to unravel the mysteries behind the construction of Egypt's pyramids, mapping out the gigantic structures using advanced laser scanners and a drone.

In March, in Abusir in the suburbs of Cairo, the group led by archaeologist Yukinori Kawae from Nagoya University set up more than 10 scanners around a pyramid. It then peppered the structure several hundred thousand times per second with laser beams to precisely measure the locations and shapes of each stone in the building to create an extremely detailed three-dimensional image. The group worked jointly with the Czech Institute of Egyptology.

In February, Kawae's group also worked with TV Man Union Inc., a Tokyo-based production company, to use a drone to take digital photos from various angles of the Great Pyramid of Giza as part of efforts to create detailed survey maps of the structure.