Zahi Hawass National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy O'Shea
(312) 665-7103 (For Media Use Only)
Archaeologist Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and Director of the Giza and Saqqara Pyramids, is credited with such major discoveries as the tombs of the Giza pyramid builders. His findings have contributed significantly to our knowledge of how these massive monuments were erected and given us important information about the lives of the people who built them. A longtime protector of Egyptian antiquities, Hawass also directed the conservation of the Sphinx at Giza. He is conducting ongoing research at Giza and is overseeing work at many other archaeological sites, including the pharaonic necropolis at Saqqara.
Since 1999 Hawass has led an excavation and preservation project at Egypt's Bahariya Oasis, where more than 200 Greco-Roman mummies have been discovered, many of them richly gilded. Dubbed "the Valley of the Golden Mummies," this ancient cemetery may hold thousands more mummies and is considered one of the most important finds in Egypt since the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. Also in Bahariya he is excavating tombs of the 26th-Dynasty (664-525 B.C.) governors who controlled the region.
Born in Damietta, Egypt, on May 28, 1947, Hawass first studied archaeology in Alexandria and Cairo. In 1980 he went to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, earning his Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. He has taught Egyptian archaeology, history and culture at Cairo University, the American University in Cairo and UCLA. He holds numerous committee appointments and lectures throughout the world.
One of Egypt's most visible and charismatic spokespeople, Hawass has been a consultant for documentaries, feature films, television specials and magazine articles, and has written extensively on Egyptian archaeology. He is the author of several books on ancient Egypt, including "Silent Images: Women in Pharaonic Egypt" and "The Secrets of the Sphinx." His best-selling book, "Valley of the Golden Mummies," was published in five languages. His two latest books, "Hidden Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Unearthing the Masterpieces of Egyptian History" and "Curse of the Pharaohs: My Adventures with Mummies," were published by National Geographic Books in spring 2004.
In 2000 Hawass received the Distinguished Scholar award from the Association of Egyptian American Scholars and was one of 30 international figures to receive the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement. He has also received the First Class Award in Art and Science from Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak. He was appointed a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence in 2001.