Cover image for Secrets from the sand : my search for Egypt's past
Secrets from the sand : my search for Egypt's past
Hawass, Zahi A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, [2003]

Physical Description:
269 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 27 cm
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Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
DT60 .H386 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
DT60 .H386 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
DT60 .H386 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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A personal tour of the fascinating Egyptian sites excavated over the last 33 years by Egypt's leading archaeologist, the discoverer of the Valley of the Golden Mummies, who was recently named to the top antiquities job in Egypt.

Author Notes

Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo, is the most influential archaeologist in Egypt, responsible for supervising his own excavations, as well as the work of foreign expeditions to all of the sites under his jurisdiction. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, has taught at the University of California in Los Angeles, Cairo University, and the American University in Cairo, and lectures widely throughout the world

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Hawass is the head of the Egyptian government's leading archaeology organization, but his review of his career reveals his soul to be that of a hands-on practitioner rather than a bureaucrat. Committed to conserving his country's antiquities from myriad degradations, Hawass has excavated Egypt's most notable ancient sites, such as Giza and Saqqara. It was at the lower-profile Bahariya Oasis, however, that Hawass and his team discovered in 1996 the trove that will enshrine his name in Egyptology: hundreds of largely intact tombs and mummies from the Ptolemaic period (about 300 B.C.E.). Geographically, these locations structure Hawass' account of his life, which reads exactly the opposite of a typical academic autobiography because it focuses not on his papers but on the people he worked with on various conservation projects. Including photographs of Hawass on site, this book exhibits his unaffected delight in his life's work, which will personably engage his readers as much as the particularities of his experiences in the field. --Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Books on ancient Egypt abound but few of their authors have the authority of Hawass, the renowned archeologist who also serves as the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo. It was Hawass who discovered the famous Valley of the Golden Mummies, and he has excavated ruins at Giza, Heliopolis and at other important ancient sites. In this beautifully illustrated volume, he reviews his career, from the moment when, after training in Greco-Roman archeology, he decided to dedicate himself to the monuments of ancient Egypt, through the discovery of his first major artifact, a statuette of Aphrodite-Isis, to the spectacular discovery of the Valley of the Golden Mummies in 1999, which he found thanks to an escaped donkey. Appropriately, the volume closes with Hawass's plans for preserving the wonders that he has seen, which are threatened by the passage of time and the traipsing of tourists. Anyone with a passion for ancient Egypt will deem this volume required reading, an invaluable addition to their collection of books. 262 illus., 251 in color. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 6
Chapter I. My Path to the Pyramidsp. 12
Finding My Life's Passionp. 13
Early Yearsp. 18
Alone in the Desert at Tuna el-Gebelp. 20
Salvage Excavations at Kom Abu-Billop. 25
Unearthing Prehistory at Merimda Beni Salamap. 29
Early Dynastic Graves at Abu Rawashp. 31
To Abu Simbel, and Finally to Gizap. 33
Chapter II. New Discoveries at Gizap. 40
A Brief History of Gizap. 44
The Master Planp. 48
Discoveries in the Complex of Khufup. 52
Discoveries in the Complex of Khafrep. 82
Discoveries in the Complex of Menkaurep. 92
In Search of the Pyramid Buildersp. 96
Chapter III. New Explorations at Saqqara and Heliopolisp. 132
A Brief History of Saqqarap. 134
My Excavations in the Complex of Tetip. 139
The Discovery of the Pyramid of Khuitp. 152
Dancing with Tomb Robbersp. 160
Excavations West of the Pyramid of Unasp. 162
Heliopolis: The City of the Sunp. 168
Chapter IV. Spectacular Discoveries in the Bahariya Oasisp. 180
A Short History of Bahariyap. 182
The Valley of the Golden Mummiesp. 190
Sheikh Sobyp. 214
Chapter V. Saving Our Heritagep. 240
The Future of Gizap. 241
The Future of Saqqarap. 244
The Future of Bahariyap. 245
The Future of Egyptian Archaeologyp. 246
A Plan for the Futurep. 251
More Secrets from the Sandp. 252
Chronology of Ancient Egypt (chart)p. 254
Glossaryp. 259
Bibliographyp. 260
Indexp. 263
Acknowledgmentsp. 268
Photo Creditsp. 269