09 JANUARY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PADr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt and Director of excavations at the Giza Pyramids, Saqqara, and Bahariya Oasis, offers a special public talk, “The Riddle of the Pyramids and the Magic of King Tut,” Thursday, February 1 at 6:00 p.m. in the Harrison Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia.

Tickets to the program, which is co-sponsored by The Franklin Institute Science Museum, are SOLD OUT. An optional reception and book signing with Dr. Hawass, author of numerous books on ancient Egypt, features Middle Eastern-style hors d’oeuvres (and cash bar) for $50 ($35 for Penn Museum members).

It has been an exciting year in Egyptian archaeology, and at this evening program, Dr. Hawass, who directs excavations at the Giza Pyramids, Saqqara, and Bahariya Oasis, discusses some of the most recent archaeological discoveries in Egypt. In addition, in his capacity as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, Dr. Hawass has been largely responsible for organizing the current, blockbuster touring exhibition from Egypt, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” presented by Mellon Financial Corporation. That exhibition ends its four-city, United States tour with a run at The Franklin Institute Science Museum (February 3 through September 30, 2007). At this evening program, Dr. Hawass talks about the special allure of the famous boy king Tutankhamun, and why millions of people have already come to see this new exhibition.

An optional reception following the talk will be held in the Upper Egyptian Gallery. A selection of books on ancient Egypt written by Dr. Hawass will be available for purchase through the Museum Shop, and Dr. Hawass will be available to sign copies.

A world-renowned Egyptian archaeologist, Dr. Hawass has been a leader in the discovery and interpretation of numerous finds, including the tombs of the workmen who built the pyramids, the tombs of Cheops’ officials, and a previously unknown pyramid with evidence of how that pyramid was built. A tireless advocate for archaeological exploration and conservation of Egypt’s extraordinary ancient monuments, he is also the author of numerous scholarly and popular publications, including Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs: Official Companion Book to the Exhibition sponsored by National Geographic (2006), The Realm of the Pharaohs: Treasures of Ancient Egypt (2006), The Royal Tombs of Egypt: The Art of Thebes Revealed (2006), Secrets of the Sphinx (1998), Valley of the Golden Mummies (2000), and Secrets from the Sand: My Search for Egypt’s Past (2003). As principal spokesman on archaeological news in Egypt, he has appears frequently on television programs and CNN. He has been featured in National Geographic specials, and in documentaries with the BBC, the Discovery and the Learning Channels, among others.

No stranger to Penn Museum, Dr. Hawass received both his Masters Degree in Egyptology and Syro-Palestinian Archaeology (1983) and his Ph.D. in Egyptology (1987) at the University of Pennsylvania, and he is currently a member of the Museum’s Board of Overseers.

He has received numerous honors, including, in 1988, the First Class Award for Arts and Sciences from Egyptian President Mubarak, and in 2000, both the Distinguished Scholar of the Year from the Association of Egyptian American Scholars, and the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement to honor his accomplishments in archaeology.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located at 3260 South Streets on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage. For general information, visitors may call (215) 898-4000, or visit the Museum’s award-winning website at http://www.penn.museum.

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