Past Press Releases


CONTENTS: Lectures and Awards \ Reopening of the 2nd Pyramid \ Discoveries at Bahriya \ New Discoveries at Tombs of Pyramid Builders \ Re-excavation of Western Field \ New Tombs Discovered at SaqqaraBooks \ Site Management of the Giza Pyramids 

News From The Pyramids
March 2001
Office of Dr. Zahi Hawass

Lectures and Awards

On February 16, Zahi Hawass flew to Leiden and delivered a lecture to the Queen of Holland.

On February 15 he lectured at the Museum in Leiden, Holland.

On October 6-7 Zahi Hawass will participate in a symposium at the University of Pennsylvania, University Museum, with David Silverman, Mark Lehner and Kent Weeks. The symposium will be repeated in Washington State on October 13-14 at the Roethke Auditorium, Kane Hall, University of Washington, and then the symposium will travel to Russel Hotel in London. For more information, contact Janice Banon, Egypt Revealed Symposium. E-mail:

Dr. Hawass recently traveled to Geneva because he is serving on the jury of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. On June 17th the jury will make its final decision on the Award for this year.

The village of Abeedy, where Dr. Hawass was born, threw a celebration for him in honor of the Golden Plate Award which he received from the American Academy of Achievement, along with 30 other famous celebrities.

Also, Mena House Hotel and Ilham El-Zayat had a special dinner party to honor Zahi Hawass.

The Association of American Egyptian Scholars selected Zahi Hawass as the Distinguished Scholar of the Year 2000. They held a party in Cairo in January and presented a crystal obelisk.

Zahi Hawass has also been nominated for election as an International Member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of the Russian Federation for his contributions to world civilization and his efforts at conserving world cultural treasures. Until his election, Egypt was represented only by Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali. The Russian Academy of Natural Sciences also presented Dr. Hawass with the Silver Pavel Tretjakov Medal for outstanding contributions to world culture.

Reopening of the Pyramid of Khafre; new Giza tombs to be opened to the public

The Pyramid of Khafre will be opened to the public in the middle of March and the Pyramid of Menkaure will be closed at that time for a year of restoration and cleaning. Several new tombs at Giza will also be opened to the public at this time. Attached is information about the Pyramid of Khafre and these tombs. You can read more about this HERE.

Discoveries at Bahariya Oasis

We started our most recent excavations in Bahariya Oasis two weeks ago and we will continue to work until the end of March. Among the recent discoveries there we would like to announce:

(1) A new tomb full of mummies. One tomb contained about I I beautiful mummies, which are the best-preserved mummies found there to date. Since excavations started in March 1999, continuing in May 2000, we have found some 208 mummies to date.

The new mummies found this season are unique. They have golden masks and the faces are beautifully realistic. We believe that this season we will discover the tombs of the upper class.

(2) The discovery of the tomb of the Governor's mother

The tomb of the Governor of Bahariya was found in May 2000. This month we discovered a new vaulted room with no wall scenes, but we believe that the room was used for the Canopic jars. The surprise this season was when we found the tomb of the Governor's mother. We found the sarcophagus and about 220 shawbtis. We will open the sarcophagus soon.

New archaeological discoveries found at the tombs of the Pyramid builders

We are working now to excavate the tombs of the Pyramid builders. We found the shaft of a 26th Dynasty tomb dug between the Old Kingdom tombs. We found many tombs located on the south, and also found tombs fronted by causeways like the royal pyramids. Two new titles were found: 

(1) The Overseer of the Rollers, and; 

(2) Master of the Harbor.

Re-excavation of the Western Field

We are now doing new major excavations in the Western Field, which include cleaning, re-excavating, and restoring the tombs.

New tombs discovered at Saqqara

Alan Zivie found a tomb cut in the rock in the area known as the Doors of the Cats. The tomb belonged to the ambassador who signed the peace treaty between Ramesses and the Hittites. Inside the tomb was found a large statue of the goddess Hathor in the shape of a cow. In front of the cow was a beautiful decorated statue of Ramesses 11.

New tomb found at Saqqara dated to Akhenaton's reign

The Dutch expedition at Saqqara found a new tomb dated to the reign of Akhenaton. The owner's name is Mery-Neit, meaning "Beloved of the Goddess Neit," and the tomb is dated to the reign of Amenhotep III and Akhenaton. He held the title of Overseer of the God Aton and the Overseer of the Fields of Aton. There are inscribed blocks and an inscribed pillar was found in the court. The discovery suggests that a temple for Akhenaton existed at Memphis.

Read more about this HERE.


(1) The Valley of the Golden Mummies has no been published in four languages: English, French, German and Italian, and it became an archaeology best-seller. It is published by Harry Abrams Press, New York.

(2) Zahi Hawass just published a new book: The Mysteries of Abu Simbel: Ramesses 11 and the Temples of the Rising Sun. It is published by American University Press in English and Arabic.

Site Management of the Giza Pyramids

We completed the new entrance to the pyramids at the Fayoum Road and also a new picnic area for Egyptian visitors. This phase cost about 11 million Egyptian pounds. We will now start phase 11, which will include the following:

(1) New stables will be built to the south of the third pyramid (at about 2 miles distance), as well as
(2) An area for souvenir vendors,
(3) Parking lots for all tourist cars,
(4) A visitors' center,
(5) Two new boat museums,
(6) and electrical cars will be purchased to transport tourists.

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Past Press Releases:

Opening of tombs and Queen's Pyramids in Giza (2/98)

World Celebrates Successful Restoration of the Sphinx(5/98)

Dr. Hawass Promoted (7/98)

Horse and Camel Stable at Giza/Restoration of Great Pyramid (11/98)

The Great Pyramid, Sphinx Temple, Recent Lectures and more (4/99)

The Opening of the Great Pyramid (6/99)

The Millennium Celebration(12/99)

Eighth International Congress Honorees and More (3/2000)

Pyramid of a queen and Sites Opened in Bahriya(6/2000)

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