Egypt is known for its marvellous Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Nile River view, and Zahi Hawass. This is the answer anyone can receive when that question is asked. Today, SEE interviews Hawass, who opens his heart for the first time in a while.
Hawass is an Egyptian archaeologist, Egyptologist, and former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs. He has also worked at archaeological sites in the Nile Delta, the Western Desert, and the Upper Nile Valley.
Q: When do you expect the new excavations?
A: We usually start excavation works from September to April. This time, we will start work in Saqqara to search for the tomb of Imhotep, the engineer who built the Step Pyramid and the first engineer in history to build the column with a stone roof 5000 years ago.
We will search for his tomb in the “Manager Bridge” area and complete the excavations next to the pyramid of King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, about 4200 years old.
Other excavations are in the Valley of the Kings including the western valley where we are working and searching for the tomb of Queen Nefertiti.
In the western Valley of the Kings, we found 45 workshops that work/manufacture gold, funeral furniture, pottery, an area for making ornaments that are placed on coffins and a cache for embalming.
In the Eastern Valley, we are looking for the tombs of the lost kings such as that of King Amenhotep I, Thutmose II, Ramses VIII, as well as the queens and children of the 18 dynasty kings buried somewhere in the Valley of the Kings.
Also, we are going to continue working in the Golden City, which dates back to the era of King Amenhotep III. That discovery shook the whole world and is considered the most important discovery in the 21st century.
Q: What are the most foreign missions that work with you in this disclosure?
A: No foreigners are working with us now. It is a 100 per cent Egyptian mission. I am leading the team.
Q: What about ‘Little Zahi’ and the Disney collaboration?
I have nothing to tell about Disney, but I can tell you that “Nahdat Misr” publishing house will produce this work. It’s scheduled to be broadcast next Ramadan.
The story is about a young boy wearing a burnet with his friends trying to discover the antiquities of Egypt. The work is presented to Egyptian children in an adventurous way so that the children can learn about the history of their country.
Q: Is a new Zahi Hawass is expected in the future?
Oh, of course, a lot. I taught 500 young people at the highest level. We instituted schools to teach them the principles of excavations and schools for restoration, but I can’t teach them my love and passion for archaeology. It is a gift from God.
Contributed by Omnia Ahmed