Zahi Hawass
World-Renowned Archaeologist

Zahi Hawass

World-renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawass is the former Minister of State for Antiquities and Director of Excavations at Giza, Saqqara, and the Valley of the Kings.

Currently, he is a featured lecturer on our Cairo and the Nile by Private Dahibiya experience.

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.

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 rediscovered the pyramid of the 6th Dynasty queen Khuit.

Dr. Hawass was involved in several important archaeological projects. He was leading the search for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony on the premises of a Ptolemaic temple near Alexandria. He was 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 to reveal the secrets of the hidden doors found inside the Great Pyramid, and he was searching for missing obelisks and statues in the waters of the Nile. One of the most significant research efforts that Dr. Hawass leaded the Egyptian Mummy Project (EMP), which is using modern forensic techniques such as CT 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, uncover the family of King Tutankhamun and solve the mystery of the murder of Ramesses III. 

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, and the Serapeum and Step Pyramid at Saqqara. He has developed site management plans for a number of important areas, including the Unfinished Obelisk Quarry in Aswan and the temples of Kom Ombo, Edfu, and Dendera, and 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 television appearances and books for general audiences. 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 with 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. Most recently, he appeared in the History Channel series Chasing Mummies, that had been seen by millions of people all over the world.

Dr. Hawass has written many books about ancient Egypt for general audiences, including Silent Images - Women in Pharaonic Egypt; Hidden Treasures of Ancient Egypt; Secrets from the Sand; Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs; Tutankhamun – The Treasures of the Tomb; Royal Tombs of Egypt - The Art of Thebes Revealed; The Great Book of Ancient Egypt – In the Realm of the Pharaohs; and Mountains of the Pharaohs – The Untold Story of the Pyramid Builders.

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 has contributed articles to GEO, National Geographic magazines, along with many other popular magazines.

Over the course of his long career, Dr. Hawass has been presented with numerous awards and honors. In 1998, he received the First Class Award for Arts and Sciences from the Preceding President Mubarak, along with the Pride of Egypt Award from the members of the foreign press in Egypt.

In 2000, the Association of Egyptian American Scholars named him Distinguished Scholar of the Year, and 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 July of 2001, National Geographic selected Dr. Hawass as one of its Explorers in Residence, and he was awarded a Silver Medal and membership in the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. In November 2002, his name was inscribed on a CD for the Mars Exploration Rover 2003 mission. In February 2005, Dr. Hawass received an honorary doctorate from the American University in Cairo.

In 2006, Time Magazine chose him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People for the year 2005. In 2007 he was made an Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters, and in 2008, he was awarded the rank of Commander in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. Also in 2008, Dr. Hawass was presented with a World Tourism Award, and was designated a Goodwill Ambassador to Japan by the Egyptian and Japanese ministries of foreign affairs. 

He has received five honorary doctorate degress from American University in Cairo, Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University in Thailand, Universidad Católica Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, University of Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, and New University of Lisbon, Portugal.

In 2011 Dr. Hawass received the prestigious “Order of the Sun” award from the President of Peru.
Dr. Hawass’s web site is a popular source of information about Ancient Egypt-

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