Archaeologist Zahi Hawass is Egypt's Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and director for the Giza Pyramids. He is credited with major discoveries, such as the unusual double statue of Ramses II at Giza and the tombs of the Giza pyramid builders. His findings have contributed significantly to our knowledge of how the Pyramids were built.
In 1999 Hawass led an excavation and preservation project at Egypt's Bahariya Oasis that discovered more than 200 Greco-Roman mummies, many of them lavishly gilded. In addition, Hawass directed the conservation of the Sphinx at Giza and spearheaded the exploration of a shaft in the Great Pyramid of Giza using a robot.
Born in Dumyt, Egypt, Hawass studied archaeology in both Egypt and the United States and received a Fulbright scholarship in 1980. In 1987 he earned his Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1988 he has taught Egyptian archaeology, history, and culture, most recently at Cairo University, the American University in Cairo, and the University of California at Los Angeles.
In 2000 Hawass received the Distinguished Scholar award from the Association of Egyptian American Scholars and was one of 30 international figures to receive the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement.