Dr. Hawass is something of a global media icon, following a series of heavily hyped TV specials and a carefully cultivated public persona. His recent History Channel series, "Chasing Mummies," depicted him as a sort of burly denim-clad Indiana Jones in a trademark leather Stetson hat. The archaeologist earned his Ph.D. in Egyptology in 1987 from the University of Pennsylvania and returned to Egypt the same year. He was appointed director of the Giza Plateau, which includes overseeing the Pyramids and the Sphinx. He was named head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in 2002.
Imperious and relentlessly self-promoting, Dr. Hawass also has become a polarizing figure in the insular ranks of international archaeology, and may soon become more so. Some critics accuse him of hogging credit for other people's work and placing good television over sound science.
"I think Egyptologists kind of laugh and shrug their shoulders at Zahi," said one British archaeologist, who has worked with Dr. Hawass.
But few seem to doubt the sincerity of his antiquity-repatriation effort, which has become a personal mission for the 63-year-old.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
On Hawass and repatriation
The Wall Street Journal