ExplorersBio

Zahi Hawass

Archaeologist

Explorer-in-Residence Emeritus

Photo: Zahi Hawass, archaeologist

Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

World-renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawass serves as minister of state for antiquities and director of excavations at Giza, Saqqara, and the Bahariya Oasis.

He is responsible for many recent discoveries, including the tombs of the pyramid builders at Giza and the Valley of the Golden Mummies at Bahariya. At Giza, he also uncovered the satellite pyramid of Khufu. In 2005, as part of the National Geographic Society-sponsored Egyptian Mummy Project to learn more about patterns of disease, health, and mortality in ancient Egypt, he led a team that CT scanned the mummy of King Tutankhamun. His team is continuing to CT scan mummies, both royal and private, and hopes to solve some of the mysteries surrounding the lives and deaths of such important figures as Hatshepsut and Nefertiti.

Hawass is extremely concerned about the conservation and protection of Egypt's monuments. He has supervised a major conservation project on the Great Sphinx and developed site management plans for a number of important sites, including the unfinished obelisk quarry in Aswan and the temples of Kom Ombo, Edfu, and Dendera. He currently is completing site management plans for the West Bank of Luxor, Giza, and Saqqara.

Hawass, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, has brought the world of the pharaohs into the homes and hearts of people around the world through numerous television appearances and books. His TV and film credits include programs with National Geographic, Discovery, NOVA, History channel, FOX, Good Morning America, and the Today Show. He is the spokesman for CNN on archaeological news in Egypt.

In 2006, Hawass received an Emmy for a special on ancient Egypt. He has been featured on many TV shows in Europe and Japan and has been profiled in numerous newspapers.

Among Hawass's many books on ancient Egypt are Silent Images: Women in Pharaonic Egypt, Hidden Treasures of Ancient Egypt, Secrets From the Sand, and Mountains of Stones: History of the Pyramid Builders. His book about his excavations in Bahariya, The Valley of the Golden Mummies, is a best seller. Many of his books have been translated into multiple languages. He also has written books for children, contributes regularly to several magazines and journals, and has published countless scholarly articles.

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In Their Words

It's very important to reveal the mystery of the pyramid. Science in archaeology is very important. People all over the world are waiting to solve this mystery.

-Zahi Hawass

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