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Zahi Hawass - IndigO2
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Do you feel Zahi Hawass is:
an egyptologist
28%
 28%  [ 4 ]
an archaeologist
7%
 7%  [ 1 ]
an adventurer
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
a diplomat
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
a TV personality
64%
 64%  [ 9 ]
Total Votes : 14

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Carl Graves
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Zahi Hawass - IndigO2 Reply with quote

Greetings all,

So, as i mentioned i was going to the Zahi Hawass Lecture at the IndigO2 Arena, and i thought it would be nice if i shared what i found with you all!

Well, firstly...the man is a complete genius in terms of public speaking. For someone who doesn't speak English as a first language he managed to captivate an audience - predominantly made up of people not thinking it was a lecture (and probably not even knowing who Zahi was until the day itself). He captivated them right up till the end. His witty humour and inspiring discussion even touched my heart.

Yes...he was a little full of himself, but that just adds to the humour you feel, even if he perhaps doesn't think its funny!

He talked much about recent work he has done in Egypt and about the future seasons work he will soon be embarking on. Here is a summary of what he discussed:

1. The finding of the mummy of Hatshepsut, which had been left by archaeologists in the tomb of her wet nurse. Was shown on TV recently and so you may have heard already. He found a series of possible mummies and tested their DNA's with that of the close related, known, Tuthmoside mummies. He also CAT scanned the canopic chest of Hatshepsut. After finding a tooth missing a root in this box, he was able to attach it to a tooth root, missing a tooth in the mummy from the tomb of Hatshepsut's wet nurse! In so doing the DNA testing it was also discovered that the mummy thought to be Tuthmosis I most likely isn't, its arms are not in royal positions, and the DNA did not match - which it should as he was Hatshepsut's father. More to investigate about the mummies already within the Cairo Museum i feel! As another note, it was foudn that Hatshepsut died of cancer. This finding proves to sceptics that Tuthmosis III did not kill his step mother!

2. Two new pyramids have been found in the Saqqara region. Sounds strange that pyramids can be lost...due to their size. but it must be remembered that some are so heavily robbed out, and denuded that they are but heaps of rubble now. Looking in Zahis's 'Mountain's of the Pharaoh's' book it is possible to see that even at Giza, the satellite pyramid of Khufu was not even discovered until recently. And this is the most trodded area of Egypt!

3. Over at the Bahariya (sp?) Oasis, where the Valley of the Golden Mummies was found a few years back excavations have been underway, beneath the houses, in to the new found tomb of the Vizier of the region. This area was a large wine producing nome of ancient egypt and this tomb is very well decorated. although damaged due to sewage falling from the surface level in the homes. Zahi did make a hugely funny joke here, but used words I should not depart on the internet haha!
Later, near Zahi's own excavation tent they found the tomb of the vizier's brother!

4.
a. Okay to the Valley of the Kings now! Hawass mentioned how he believes the tomb found about 3 years ago now could be the tomb of Tutankhamun's mother, Kiya. However it was then later reused as an embalmers workshop to restore the mummies of the Pharaohs in transit to their cachettes to protect them from robbers. He believes this because of its proximity to Tutankhamun's tomb, and its smaller size.


b. KV64? Well as many on here have mentioned have new tombs been found?! exciting, I know! Smile
It was believed that the area between Ramesses II and Merenptah could hold new tombs of un found pharaohs. And so a clearing of rubble was started in November last year. Once large amounts of rubble had been moved a rock cut wall was found and some steps. This tomb was probably sealed naturally by falling rocks in antiquity, if there is a tomb there. Exactly the same has occured in another area, with rock cut walls and steps. So potentially a KV65 too! much graffiti in the areas has been found and pottery of the 19th Dynasty all opinting to big discoveries.

It is still only early, but work will recommence here in the next seasons work, and in November 2008 Zahi Hawass is moving his office from Cairo to the Valley of the Kings! This is a huge sign of importance of these finds.

5. With the new DNA lab at the Cairo Museum they are testing all mummies now to provide evidence to the extended family of Tutankhamun. This includes Nefertiti, Tiye, Kiya and Ankhesenamun. Also the Pharaoh Akhenaten! The DNA testing of the feotesses of the boy king will help the first steps of this process by hopefully identifying their mother, Tut's wife, Ankhesenamun.

6. After repreated refusal by Zahi to let people drill under the sphinx to find tunnels, he himself was forced to do so last month to monitor groundwater under the statue. It was felt that water under ground could damage the fragile monuments. after taking 5 drillings by and around the sphinx, absolutely NOTHING was found. so people hoping for secrets and treasures are left longing again! haha! Although he did talk about his discovery of the Osiris Shaft under the causeway of Khafre which was interesting to see the excavation pictures of this.

7. He just summed up what he has found at the tombs of the pyramid builder so far, including curses left by workers...and their even more vengeful wives! (You go girls!)

8. in October 2008 3 international teams will be invited to test robots out to go into the shafts of the great pyramid to see what is behind the doors blocking them. He did mention that he does not believe that the true burial chamber of Khufu has been discovered and that it could be somewhere else in the pyramid itself!

9. Recent excavations at the Temple of Osiris at Alexandria have led Zahi to speculate as to whether the tomb of Mark Antony and Cleopatra could be within its vicinity. Rooms containing their images have been found with coins and other artefacts, all pointing to a close conection with them both. in November 2008 a radar will be taken to the site to scan for possible anomalies and gaps under the ground surface.

10. Finally, finish on a fun note. Naomi Campbell met with Zahi once to request access to the sphinx, she felt a connection. After visiting the monument for days he found she was talking to it! (he did say he met some crazy people)...that included for him, Doctor Ruth! haha!

I'd like to finish this summary of the event by apologising for its length, but it was extremely interesting and i felt all of you should know! Also a fantastic quote which i think will get some of you thinking because its not as simple as it sounds:

"Building pyramids built Egypt!" - Zahi Hawass 2008

I hope you all like this review!

All the best,
Carl xx
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a great review, Carl, and thank you for sharing it with us. I found it very interesting. Smile
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing that! That must have been interesting.
Some people are just really good public speakers. Sounds like Hawass is one of them.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Thank you very much, Carl for this excellent, detailed review!

Were questions allowed from the floor, and if so, can you remember any interesting ones?

Idea
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Carl Graves
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They did give some time over to questions.

None were all that interesting except one.

A lady asked how Zahi expected to find Nefertiti from DNA of Tutankhamun and his foetuses. Although Zahi himself didnt really explain it well it seems logical to think that because the foetusses mother would be the daughter of Nefertiti then surely mitochondrial (sp?) DNA would help trace the matriachal line. Providing the still born children were female.

The woman did try (very unfairly) to disprove Zahi by arguing with him about the sex of the children. She said they were proved to be female but he said that there is no proof of that as of yet, but to give it a week for the CAT Scan results to tell us properly. Instead i think she put him in a very awkward position on stage and argued against his judgement.
This may have provoked his speedy exit. But he stood his ground well.

Only interesting question i can think of, i hope that mite answer other peoples questions.

xxx
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting that!
With all the Hawass-bashing we see on this board, it's refreshing to stop and think what a really brilliant scholar he is, and how very much enthusiasm he shows for "his" antiquities!
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and by the way, according to Scientific Reports:

The plural is fetuses or foetuses.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again, Carl, for all the details you've kindly supplied.

I was wondering if anyone would raise the 'copyrighting the pyramids' issue, which blew up at the beginning of the year, but from what you say, that controversy seems to have died down now.

Smile
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Carl Graves
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeh, it is interesting to hear him speak properly about his passion...without cameras and the Discovery behind him haha!

But i think aside from the archaeology, he is a fantastic spokes person for Egypt's antiquities. He gets the funding that the country needs and creates a central character for media to flock around. which i guess gives other experts the room to breathe...i.e. Otto Schaden and Kent Weeks.

He did say at the talk that he trained for law and as a diplomat...which i think betrays a few origins of his personality!

xxx
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Carl Graves
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osiris II wrote:
Oh, and by the way, according to Scientific Reports:

The plural is fetuses or foetuses.


Thank you, my spelling for that word is all over the place haha!



Regarding 'copyrighting the pyramids' i have heard this too. But in much of his work he expressed how he has worked closely with Mark Lehner (author of 'The Complete Pyramids' - another amazing book) and in the lecture he stressed the importance of his team tat work with him.

So there were perhaps underlying worries that it could crop up again!

xxx
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:52 pm    Post subject: Dr Hawass Reply with quote

I was at the talk as well and I thought it was a fantastic evening. Dr Hawass was received very warmly by a huge audience (where did they all come from...?) but I was also left feeling that the lady questioner at the end was somewhat disrespectful to use this venue to air her opinions in the way that she did. It actually began to resemble an attempt to argue as she tried to contradict him, quite rudely in my opinion, but he handled it well. She also monopolised the question time.
If she is an Egyptologist I doubt she'll get to work in Egypt again!!
I was staggered by the amount of people there. I also wondered if they knew what the evening was about, but listening to people and talking to some of them in the line, and given the enthusiastic reception, I think most of them did. A few people left during the question time but that's usual in all sorts of large lectures.
I admire Dr Hawass. I know that there are many who are critical of him but for me, it was a wonderful experience to hear him speak. We need people who have passion for archeology - that's what it's all about! If we reduce it to a cold science then that's sad.
I was grateful for your review. There was so much stuff that we were discussing on the way home, hoping to remember it all, but you have kindly helped us out on that one!
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carl Graves wrote:
Quote:
I'd like to finish this summary of the event by apologising for its length...


Long? That was long? You haven't come across to many of my posts yet, have you? I am the resident windbag. Laughing

Seriously, CG, thanks for sharing all of that information. I try to do much the same thing after I attend a lecture given by an Egyptologist. I know the feeling of wanting to share the substance of the presentation, and you did a very nice job.

I definitely don't agree with Hawass's conclusions about certain things, but it must have been a fine experience to attend. I would gladly do so myself. Hawass has spoken a number of times over the years here in Chicago but I've never been able to attend.

Good work. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for such an interesting review, Carl. Smile
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Gerard.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: Zahi Hawass - IndigO2 Reply with quote

Carl Graves wrote:
For someone who doesn't speak English as a first language he managed to captivate an audience -
Z.H. learned his trade in Philadelphia and speaks english every day. When it comes to egyptology, he is probably more fluent in english than any other language.
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Carl Graves
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for that Gerard, i am fully aware that Zahi studied for a long time in America and speaks English everyday. As do most of the Egyptians living in Egypt...even those who havent been to America.

But i still maintain my comment that English is not his first language, and considering his pronunciation of some words (i.e. "secret" or "foetuses") can be a little difficult to make out for some, he still managed to captivate the audience.

xxx
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