From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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 TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved