People often ask me, ‘well, it’s not really as exciting as Indiana Jones, now is it?’
I reply, ‘to an archaeologist, yes, it certainly is!’

— Zahi Hawass

About Zahi Hawass

Dr Hawass at the Egyptian Pyramids

World-renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawass currently serves as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and directs ongoing excavations at Giza, Saqqara, and in the Valley of the Kings. Dr. Hawass received his PhD in 1987 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied as a Fulbright Fellow. He has written numerous scholarly articles and books, and is highly respected as an Egyptologist. Over the course of his long career, he has been presented with numerous awards and honors. In addition, Dr. Hawass is known for his charisma and his ability to reach out to the public, raising awareness of archaeology and the preservation of Egypt’s precious heritage.

Dr. Hawass has made a number of major discoveries over the course of his career, including the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders at Giza and the Valley of the Golden Mummies at Bahariya Oasis. Dr. Hawass has discovered two previously unknown Old Kingdom pyramids, one near the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza, and one belonging to a queen of King Teti at Saqqara. Also at Saqqara, he has rediscovered the pyramid of the 6th Dynasty queen Khuit, along with another pyramid that he has determined belonged to a 5th Dynasty king. Dr. Hawass is currently involved in several important archaeological projects. He is leading the search for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony on the premises of a Ptolemaic temple near Alexandria. He is also searching for the tomb of Ramesses VIII and the tombs of the queens of the 18th Dynasty in the Valley of the Kings. Dr. Hawass plans soon to reveal the secrets of the hidden doors found inside the Great Pyramid, and he is supervising a search for missing obelisks and statues in the waters of the Nile. One of the most significant research efforts that Dr. Hawass is currently leading is the Egyptian Mummy Project (EMP), which is using modern forensic techniques such as CT scanning and DNA analysis to answer questions about human remains from ancient Egypt. One of the most important discoveries that Dr. Hawass has made through the EMP is his identification of the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut. Currently, the project is focused on the search for the family of King Tutankhamun.

As an archaeologist deeply concerned about the conservation and protection of Egypt’s monuments, Dr. Hawass has supervised major conservation projects for the Great Sphinx, along with the Serapeum and Step Pyramid at Saqqara. He has developed site management plans for a number of important historic areas, including the Unfinished Obelisk Quarry in Aswan and the temples of Kom Ombo, Edfu, and Dendera.  Currently, he is overseeing the completion of site management plans for the West Bank of Luxor, Giza, and Saqqara. He has also initiated the construction of nineteen new museums throughout Egypt, including the Grand Egyptian Museum that will be built near the pyramids at Giza.

Dr. Hawass’s dynamic personality and extensive knowledge have sparked global interest in ancient Egypt. He has brought the world of the pharaohs into the homes and hearts of people all over the world through his numerous media appearances. In 2006, Dr. Hawass received an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for a special on ancient Egypt produced by KCBS in Los Angeles. Some of his most popular TV appearances have been Mysteries of the Pyramids, live from Cairo with Omar Sharif; Good Morning America, live from the Great Sphinx with Joan Lunden; and The Today Show with Matt Lauer. He has appeared in three live prime-time productions for Fox Television - the first, in March 1999, was with Maury Povich; the second, in May 2000, was with actor Bill Pullman and host Hugh Downs; and the third was a look behind the hidden doors inside the Great Pyramid through the use of a robot equipped with a fiber optic camera. Dr. Hawass has also appeared in many documentaries for the BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, the History Channel, PBS, and The Learning Channel. He was chosen by the BBC for a profile representing Egypt in the New Millennium, and was featured by CNN in a short profile in 2008. National Geographic has produced a film on his life and work. Dr. Hawass is the spokesman for CNN on archaeological news in Egypt, and he has also been featured on many TV shows in Europe and Japan. He has been profiled in print in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the London Times.

Dr. Hawass has written many books about ancient Egypt for general audiences, including:

His book about his great discovery at Bahariya Oasis, The Valley of the Golden Mummies, became a bestseller and has been published in five languages. He has also authored several books for children. He writes regular columns for Al-Ahram Weekly and Horus (the in-flight magazine of EgyptAir), and has contributed articles to GEO, along with many other popular magazines.

Dr. Hawass has been instrumental in sending exhibitions of the treasures of King Tutankhamun abroad for the first time in decades. One exhibition is touring eight American cities and London, while the second will visit seven cities in the U.S.

Zahi Hawass on the web

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