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Secrets From The Sand: My Search For Egypt's Past Hardcover – October 1, 2003


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Hardcover, October 1, 2003
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810945428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810945425
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,539,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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 © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This was an autobiography of Zahi Hawass and was very interesting.
Kathryn Berkey
It is a story told with love, humor, and passion for a career in protecting Egypt's remarkable past.
L. Clark
I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in ancient history.
alan humphries

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By alan humphries on January 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
To begin with I am not sure what I expected of this book. I knew it was not going to be a scholarly text, and it is not. What it is is a very entertaining book based on the excavations by Zahil Hawass over the last thirty plus years working in Egypt. I found the text to be written for a reader with a more than casual interest in ancient Egypt. It is written in excellent form, with crisp text and is well laid out so that the text and accompanying photographs appear together on the same pages. This is a personal account of Dr Hawass excavations and must be taken as such. When there is a point of personal note regarding people, events and details, and how it effected him, they are included and because of such I found it interesting and entertaining.
The photos in this book are excellent, many of which have never been published and mainly in color. The book deals not only with excavations that Dr Hawass has done in the past, but also his plans for site control in the future in order to protect Egypt's monuments.
But the thing I found most interesting was his personal journey. That Dr Hawass never intended to become and Egyptologist when his career began but a lawyer struck me as ironic how people can by chance find their life's work and passion quite by accident.
I have red Zahil Hawass other books including "Valley of the Golden Mummies' and enjoyed them very much. But the personal account and details along with excellent photographs and well written text allowed me to see inside a career of one of Egypt's and the worlds most prominent archaeologists.
I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in ancient history.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on August 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Zahi Hawass has spent thirty years in Egypt working to understand ancient Egypt. This book is a semi-autobiographical in that the first part of the book covers his early days working to protect Egypt's past. It then goes on as though giving us a personally conducted tour of some of the most important excavation sites in Egypt. It is absolutely filled with information that would never have occurrec to the casual observer. For instance, the average tourist leaves about an ounce of moisture from breath and sweat in the interior chambers of the Giza pyramids. The aftereffects of this cause a deteriation of the chamber.

The book is profusely illustrated, with 251 of the 262 photographs printed in color.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. A. Sanders on November 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is Dr. Hawass' autobiography. A very fun read, lots of great stories, not at all dry. Dr. Hawass is alot of fun, and a real character. He is also the right man in the right place at the right time, as protector and custodian of Egypt's legacy. I was privileged to enter the Sphinx enclosure at Giza with Dr. Hawass in January 2004 and got to see firsthand some of the changes he has put in place at many sites. I was delighted to read more of his plans in this book, which made me feel much better about the future of archaeology in Egypt. It was also fun to hear about how and when he acquired his passion for Egyptology, his first meeting with his colleague Dr. Mark Lehner, and the job perk of "the best balcony in the world."

This book is also full of many wonderful photos, many of which have not been published before; which helped me make more sense of the many sites we visited. I have several of Dr. Hawass' books, but this is my favorite!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Benderly on March 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Hawass's book, "Secrets From the Sand" is a delight in many ways. Having been in Egypt and having seen many of the sites he has described, I thoroughly enjoyed re-living some of my time there. However, I must take exception to his belittling remarks of other people with whom he disagrees. I am referring to the remarks about Edgar Cayce, founder of the A.R.E. in Virginia Beach. One certainly has the right to disagree with another's phylosophy, but it would be courteous, to say the least, to get the facts right. Mr. Cayce was not a "poor carpenter", he was a photographer. He did not cure his son

s eyes, when a flash powder went off and blinded the boy, by some hocus-pocus magic, but with a sensible medical treatment.He mentions Hugh Lynn Cayce,Edgar's son, and calls him Hylan. In fact, the entire small section seemed to me to be an unsportsmanlike attempt to denigrate anyone who disagrees with him. Dr. Hawass has had enough recognition and enough honors in his field, richly deserved I may add, not to need to put in print his dislike of another's beliefs, however much it may disagree with his own. If this one section had been left out, I would have given the book the highest praise for its content, photographs, and manner of writing. As it is, I feel that it takes away from the character of the man whose work I have followed with great interest for many years, and who has done so much to bring his country's rich heritage to the attention of the world.
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By Margot Cristo on February 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Zahi Hawass has once again put pen to paper and come out with a master piece! His book are always chalked full of intricate information. And, the pictures are priceless. Dr. Hawass must be the greatest Egyptologist of all time, and this book is further proof of that!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Am glad to have been able to get it through you. This was an autobiography of Zahi Hawass and was very interesting.
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