Short Biography
Zahi Hawass


World-renowned archaeologist, Zahi Hawass currently serves as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Director of Excavations at Giza, Saqqara and the Bahariya Oasis. 


Dr. Hawass is responsible for many exciting recent discoveries, including the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders at Giza and many other discoveries concerning the construction of the pyramid. He discovered the satellite pyramid of Khufu and revealed the secrets behind the so-called doors found inside the pyramid. He also excavated at Bahariya Oasis where he discovered the Valley of the Golden Mummies. This find is considered to be the King Tut of the Graeco-Roman period. He also found the tombs of the governor of Bahariya and his family under the houses in the town of El-Bawiti. This discovery is regarded as one of the most amazing adventures in archaeology. His excavations at Saqqara revealed many important archaeological discoveries around the pyramid of Teti, such as the tomb of the physician Qar, and the rediscovery of the “headless pyramid.” He led an Egyptian team in the examination of the mystery of King Tut’s mummy through the use of a CT-scan. Dr. Hawass has lectured on these discoveries all over the world in front of large audiences, including kings, queens, the general public, and media.


Hawass is extremely concerned about the conservation and protection of Egypt’s monuments. He has carried out 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.  Currently, he is completing site management plans for the West Bank of Luxor, Giza, and Saqqara.


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 television appearances and books for general audiences. 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 been featured in a number of National Geographic specials: one on the discovery of the 26th Dynasty tomb of Iufaa at Abusir; a second on the golden mummies of Bahariya; a third, entitled Great Explorers, which featured Dr. Hawass as one of seven great world explorers; and a fourth, live from Giza, to investigate the mysterious “doors” inside the Great Pyramid. He has also appeared in two live prime-time productions for Fox Television. The first, in March 1999, was with Maury Povich; and, the second, in May 2000, was with actor Bill Pullman and Hugh Downs. Dr. Hawass has also appeared in many documentaries with the BBC, Discovery Channel, and The Learning Channel, and was chosen by the BBC for a profile representing Egypt in the New Millennium. An interesting film profile was made by National Geographic about his life. He is the spokesman for CNN on archaeological news in Egypt. He was also featured on many T.V. shows in Europe, the John Stewart show, and a profile on Japanese T.V. Many profiles have been written about Dr. Hawass appearing in Germany and Italy in addition to the New York Times and L.A. Times. He is also a regular guest on Discovery, Nova, and History Channel programs, which have helped to promote him as the face of Egypt abroad. This year, he received an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for a special on ancient Egypt produced by KCBS in Los Angeles.


Four books are being published by Dr. Hawass in 2006, including: Royal Tombs: of Ancient Egypt; (DeAgostini) The Great Book of Egypt: the Realm of the Pharaohs (Whitestar); and Mountains of the Pharaohs: History of the Pyramid Builders (Doubleday); and The Golden Boy: The World of King Tutankhamun (National Geographic paperback). Dr. Hawass has written many books for general audiences about ancient Egypt, including Silent Images:  Women in Pharaonic Egypt; Hidden Treasures of Ancient Egypt; Secrets from the Sand; and The Golden Age of Tutankhamun. His book about his excavations at Bahariya, The Valley of the Golden Mummies, became a bestseller and now has been published in five languages. He has also authored several books for children.


Most recently, Dr. Hawass was instrumental in sending King Tutankhamun back to the United States. During the exhibit’s openings in Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and Chicago, Dr. Hawass again entered the homes of thousands of people, making a number of television appearances to promote the return of the golden king to America.


Dr. Hawass received a Fulbright Fellowship and studied in the United States. He received his Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. He has written numerous scholarly articles, and is highly respected as an Egyptologist.


Over the course of his long career, Dr. Hawass has received numerous awards and honors. In 2006, Time Magazine chose Dr. Hawass one of the Top 100 Most Influential People for the year 2005. In February 2005, Dr. Hawass received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the American University in Cairo. In August of 2005, he participated in Adventures of the Mind, sharing his experiences and expertise with 150 of the most accomplished high school students in the United States. Mansoura University has honored Dr. Hawass for his many achievements and contributions to Egyptian society and to the archeological community world wide; and the Egyptological Society in Spain chose him as one of five distinguished Egyptians for the year 2002. November 2002, his name was written on a CD for the Mars Exploration Rover 2003 mission. In 2001, he was awarded a Silver Medal and membership in the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. In July 2001, National Geographic selected Dr. Hawass as one of its Explorers in Residence. In 2000, the Association of Egyptian American Scholars named him Distinguished Scholar of the Year; in October of that same year, he was one of thirty international figures to receive the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, honoring his accomplishments in archaeology. In 1998, he received the First Class Award for Arts and Sciences from President Mubarak; and the Pride of Egypt Award from the members of the foreign press in Egypt. 


His web site is a popular source of information about Ancient Egypt and also hosts a fan club for children. 

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