Zahi Hawass

Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass will speak Aug. 15 at Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green.

Egypt’s Old Kingdom seduces many with its sandy terrain, gilded coffins and limestone pyramids. They’re pieces of an almost mythical puzzle – one that humans have been trying to figure out for nearly 4,700 years.

Paintings and artifacts illuminate aspects of daily life, and hieroglyphics offer insight into Egypt’s communication and advancement. With boosted technology, researchers are producing theories capable of shattering long-held beliefs about the ancient civilization.

Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass has spent decades uncovering cultural clues, protecting antiquities and, especially lately, inspiring the next generation of archaeologists. Hawass will return to Bowling Green on Aug. 15 to share some of his newest findings at Sloan Convention Center from 6 to 8 p.m.

“For a long time, he’s been the face of archaeology for Egypt,” said Lisa Rice, director of the Warren County Public Library, which is organizing the event.

Recently, Hawass investigated theories of ancient tunnels by drilling under the Sphinx, searched for secret chambers inside the Great Pyramid of Giza and helped lead an excavation aiming to uncover the tombs of Queen Nefertiti and Queen Ankhesenamun in the Valley of the Kings.

“He always has something new to talk about,” Rice said.

Hawass, the former secretary general of what’s now called the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities, remains relevant in the political conversation, too, as he advocates for the retrieval of looted artifacts.

When a wave of imperialism swept across Africa in the late 19th century, Britain occupied Egypt and snatched some of its history and placed it in European museums – though it wasn’t the only country to steal from Egypt during that time. And in 2011, Egypt faced more looting due to political instability.

Hawass wants people to understand the country’s current safety, according to Rice, so they don’t miss the chance to gaze upon one of the world’s wonders. And he wants people to see Egyptian artifacts in Egypt.

Library lectures are usually targeted for adults, but children are welcome. Rice thinks children ages 10 and older would likely enjoy the program.

These lectures tend to be popular. But Hawass is very popular – he attracted hundreds of people during his two prior visits in 2015 and 2017.

About 800 people registered by Monday afternoon, but there should be enough space for everyone. The convention center can hold about 1,200 people.

“This is a real opportunity for people in this community,” Rice said. “He does not lecture many places in the U.S., other than LA and New York.

“I think it’ll be even more fascinating this year because there’s been new technology used and new discoveries made.”

– Follow reporter Caroline Eggers on Twitter @eggersdailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.

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