Zahi Hawass was born on May 28, 1947 in Damietta, Egypt.
The world's premier expert in Egyptology, he proved that the Pyramids were built by Egyptians (not aliens or some lost civilization!), and by free men and women, not slaves.
He oversaw the restoration of the three Pyramids and the Sphinx.
Has an almost non-existent tolerance for those who propose that many of monuments and holy sites of ancient Egypt were built with the assistance of, or at the request of, ancient aliens posing as gods, and has been known to become visibly angry or upset at the mere mention of the topic.
Personal Quotes (4)
I believe that Egyptologists have a mission to teach interested young people about working in the past. Archaeology, after all, is not Indiana Jones. I encourage young people to study and prepare for the field.
When I started excavating--you know when you see someone and fall in love right away?--that is when I found my love. And when I did that, archaeology became everything in my life. This is why I tell every young person in Egypt and outside Egypt that they have to look and wait until they find their real love.
"There is an ancient Egyptian saying that 'Man fears time, and time fears the Pyramids,' but this is no longer true. The Pyramids must fear time, too." (New York Times, August 10, 1997)
[on the evidence that ordinary humans built the Pyramids:] "All the skeletons of the men and women show signs of stress in their backs, because people were involved in moving heavy stuff. We determined through X-rays that someone had syphilis, and we found evidence of brain surgery on a workman, who lived for two years afterwards. The ancients even had emergency treatment for workers on site, because we discovered that they were fixing broken bones and even amputating legs that had been crushed by a falling stone."