Egypt’s Gathering Antiquities Storm

In January and February, as the world watched in fascination, a relatively peaceful revolution (at least the first act thereof) played out on the streets of Egypt. When the dust had begun to clear the man known as the “last pharaoh,” president Hosni Mubarak, had been driven from power. The full meaning of it all has only begun to be fully grasped, but many unexpected consequences have already started to unfold. Not only was a corrupt dictator overthrown, but the momentous events in the land of the pyramids might also herald, some believe, the end of mainstream Egyptolo­gy as we know it. You can read all about it, or at least as much as we know at press time, in Philip Coppens’ report on page 23.

If any man has embodied the orthodox view of Egyptian history it is Dr. Zahi Hawass, who for many years has been the country’s Director of Antiquities. Whenever the mainstream press has wanted to debunk alternative notions, such as John Anthony West, and geologist Robert Schoch’s re-dating of the Sphinx; Christopher Dunn’s arguments for advanced ancient technology; any suggestion that the Great Pyramid could have been something other then a tomb; or anything else deemed remotely controversial, Hawass, it seems, has always taken the lead, derisively dis­missing all such notions as, at best, unsupported by evidence, and, at worst, fraudulent and/or corrupt. Now, it turns out, one of the most significant poster boys for Egyptian corruption might be Hawass himself.

In a half-hour Arabic interview on Egyptian TV on February 17, Dr. Noureddin Abdel Samad, the highly respected Director of Archaeological Sites in Egypt, accused Hawass, in collusion with Mubarak, of stealing hundreds of arti­facts worth more than a billion dollars from the Cairo museum, and then of blocking and covering up any investiga­tion of the crimes. Moreover, said Dr. Samad, Hawass helped foreigners to make a “wrong history of Egypt” by pro­ducing false reports on the DNA of royal mummies and the dating of the pyramids. Many priceless artifacts from Alexandria and other sites, he added, were also stolen.

What will actually be charged, to say nothing of proven, especially given the turmoil, remains unclear; but, as Philip reports, on March 3—apparently unable to maintain power, now that his close friend and protector, Hosni Mu­barak, is no longer in charge—Hawass resigned.

Atlantis Rising’s very first issue in November of 1994 featured the research of West and Schoch demonstrating that water weathering of the Great Sphinx proved it was thousands of years older than is held by mainstream Egyptol­ogy (“Breaking the Silence,” A.R. #1). In the years since, while the West/Schoch findings have been embraced by most geologists, conventional Egyptology, led by Hawass, despite powerful evidence, has continued to scoff at the idea. Now perhaps, new light will be shed on the argument and the real motives of those who—operating from positions of entrenched power—have attempted to prevent the public from learning the real story of Egyptian origins.

Whatever happens, 17 years on and beyond, this publication will continue to provide the truth.

J. DOUGLAS KENYON

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