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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 1:44 pm 
Pharaoh
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Just food for though: Notice how Hawass never wears gloves when handling mummies (which are incredibly easily contaminated), and always insists on being allowed to reveal discoveries in person.


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 8:56 pm 
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I don't think I've ever noticed that, Psusennes I. It's not the sort of thing I generally look for in a television special, though, I must admit. If that's the case, he ought to know better. I'll have to watch more closely the next time there's an ancient Egypt special on the Discovery Channel in which Hawass appears. Well, okay, Hawass makes an appearance in nearly every ancient Egypt special on the Discovery Channel.

Lostris wrote:
Quote:
I confess I always pick up my head when I heard about him in the news. He is a name, and that won't change, though.


I must confess the same. I personally am a fan of Hawass, and whether or not you like him, all of you must admit that when you hear the name Zahi Hawass on the television or hear his rather distinctive voice, you sit up and take notice because you know ancient Egypt is being discussed. Hawass has become the "poster boy" for ancient Egypt, and I think he is an able spokesman for his country and its heritage. It really doesn't seem to matter who supports or does not support Hawass--he is disliked by many of his own collegues, both Western and Egyptian--because he has become the modern ambassador for history's greatest ancient civilization.

Quote:
So, I think they should bring back to Egypt all the important treasure, jewels, steles, statues and others...


It depends what you mean by "important." As I said when I was debating with Claude II earlier, representatives from the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt have toured and examined all major ancient Egyptian exhibits in the museums of the world, and are asking for the return of only a small percentage of artifacts--I would wager no more than 1% of what exists in museums throughout the world. I'm a docent at the Field Museum in Chicago and we have a large ancient Egyptian exhibit (one of the largest in the United States), and representatives of the SCA have toured our exhibit, including Hawass himself. We have many very valuable artifacts, including numerous pieces that belonged to royalty, and the SCA has asked for the restoration of nothing from us.

It goes to something else I was trying to explain to Claude II, the simple fact that Egypt has enough on its plate the way it is and could not logistically or even realistically handle the return of hoards of artifacts.

Claude II eventually clarified for my own edification that he himself means the return of "key" artifacts, particularly the Nefertiti bust in Berlin and the Rosetta Stone in Great Britain. I personally wouldn't mind seeing these two treasures restored to the land whence they came so long ago, but don't count on it. The government of Egypt has no solid legal case for their return, and neither the Egyptian Museum in Berlin nor the British Museum in Great Britain are likely ever just to surrender these two treasures. As unfortunate as that may be, it's reality.

Quote:
Egypt's a poor country, and the most important mean of subsistence is the tourism. So how can tourist come to Egypt when some of its beautiful things are in other countries?


Trust me, Egypt's tourism does not suffer because pieces like the Nefertiti bust or the Rosetta Stone are not located there. Were they to be returned, you can be certain that less than one-half of one percent of tourists would go all the way to Egypt just to see them. It would not account for any significant rise in tourism.

Just the opposite is quite true, actually. People are inspired with ancient Egypt by the books they read and the wondrous things they see in museums. It is such exposure in nations far distant from the Middle East that brings people to Egypt. Ancient Egyptian exhibits in museums around the world are indefinably vital to the steady streams of tourists travelling to Egypt. You can be certain that if museums were stripped of many of their finest Egyptian artifacts, tourism in Egypt would eventually plummet for lack of motivational exposure. Hawass would tell you that, and he himself is an active supporter of quality ancient Egypt exhibits in the world's museums. These museums are PR, and Hawass and his government love PR.

In closing, I suggest you read a bit of the biographies of today's leading Western Egyptologists. I clarify "Western" here, for an obvious reason. Most of them report that they were first inspired to study ancient Egypt because of things they saw at museums. Many of these great minds were so inspired when they were but young children. And today these leading Egyptologists work hand in hand with the leading Egyptian Egyptologists to uncover, discover, preserve, and report on the wonders of ancient Egypt. :D


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 11:52 am 
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Psuesennes: Whoa, I never noticed that, but that can be!

kmt_sesh: Nice to see another Hawass-fan here, kmt! Sadly, a lot of people don't really like him, but he is one of the greatest egyptologist of nowadays, as I already said. So I totally agree with you in this case. So, I think 'important' wasn't the best word. Maybe I should say 'famous' or 'well-known'. I think Sobeknoferu and others were interesting and great rulers, too, but a lot of tourist are more interested in Nefertiti or the Rosette stone. Just because they can realize 'Man, I read about this somewhere!' . And, there was something in my mind about foreign egyptologists but I forgot to post: the most famous egyptologists were not Egyptians - think about Carter, Champollion, Auguste Mariette, Petrie etc. So may I can change a little my opinion about placing the treasures :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 1:11 pm 
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I unfortunately have opinions that conflict quite radically with your own, Kmt_Sesh. This will probably drone on a bit because I get worked up about it, but I'll split it up with interesting pictures that might persuade you to read it all!

Hawass is a bombastic battle tank who seems to take more care promoting himself than Egypt, even when he ends up endangering and destroying both potentially fantastic archaeological finds and the sites to which they pertain. In 2003 alone he excluded 14 archaeological expeditions from to country and denied access to countless more. It is Hawass who over-orchestrates everything Egyptian, and reserves almost all the major finds for himself to reveal to the press. In most cases it is the work of others that is stolen by Hawass and claimed as his ‘own’ fantastic discovery. Furthemore it’s the case that innumerable archaeological teams in Egypt pray they do not uncover anything of importance- fearing that if they do then their projects will be shut down until the ‘Big Zee’ (as Zahi has been appropriately dubbed) can come and take over, ‘discovering’ the key artefacts for himself and stealing the glory of hardworking expeditions.

Those who oppose him are thrown out of the country, branded as heretics to Egyptology, quite frequently lose their jobs and have their reputations destroyed. Indeed many dare not to resist him for these reasons. Hawass recently denounced the curator of the British Museum as ‘a thief’ and accused him of ‘buying stolen artefacts.’ He swats all his critics brutally, and tries successfully to stay atop the ever-growing crowd of Egyptologists who now oppose him.

Image
The Big Zee quite literally takes an axe to the Valley of the Golden Mummies. My uncle was there floor managing on set, and was truly horrifed at Zahi's lack of care.

His process of vilification culminated with the case of Joann Fletcher, which I don’t feel like going into great detail on, no less than to say that Hawass is just as guilty of misidentification as she was. Hawass attacked her by saying that Joann’s theory was based only on “weak facial resemblance,” despite the fact that Ms. Fletcher had said herself that “Physical resemblance is weak evidence.” Hawass also lied when he said that Ms. Fletcher was “a recent PhD recipient.” In fact she has held her PhD for eight years in total- a higher number than Zahi had when the same age as Fletcher, There was infact at the time of Fletcher’s discovery, a wealth of information in support of her claims. With DNA testing on 3,000 year old mummies not only hugely unreliable but also illegal under Hawass, complete proof was unattainable at the time. Hawass despised Fletcher not because she could have been wrong (Hawass had virtually no evidence against her before the DNA testing was carried out), but because she offended his self-proclaimed rules of etiquette. She revealed alone potentially the greatest Egyptological discovery of the 21st century so far, and Hawass had not been there to steal it from her. In my eyes, Fletcher reached a valid conclusion when she suggested that the mummy 61072 could be that of Nefertiti, and Hawass himself was also equally unsure before the testing, saying “She looks like a young lady in the age of fifteen” in the February of Joann’s expedition. Of course he now radically denies that he ever said this, even though he was being filmed at the time.

Image
Fletcher's team of experts carefully remove the arm of Mummy 61072 for testing. Note the clothing and face mask.

Hawass knew that the counter evidence that he had in February was not enough to discredit Fletcher enough for him to get his own back, and there was really only one piece of evidence he could obtain that might shatter her credulity enough for him to expel her from Egypt and destroy her reputation- the gender of the mummy. Hawass legalised testing for this sole reason, and when the mummy proved male-positive Hawass was exhillerated. The evidence was of course hugely unreliable- British DNA experts have proven that in such climates DNA can survive no longer than 400 years, and yet Hawass and his accomplices had handled the mummy without any form of protection, their sweaty palms destroying what little salvageable DNA might remain in the body (capillary action ‘sucks’ human DNA in moisture and sweat into mummified remains). Grafton Elliot Smith had handled the mummy also (along with a plethora of other tourists in the Edwardian period), and described female genitalia on the mummy before Fletcher. Hawass had practically no evidence against Fletcher before the DNA tests, but afterwards he had succeeded in clouding the situation enough to claim that the mummy was definitely a man, and went about destroying the rest of Fletcher’s evidence. He raised the mummies age way out of the possible Nefertiti range, and denied Fletcher further access to the mummy. He reproduced articles that suggested she was completely clueless in the field of Anthropology (in fact she had merely not taken a degree on it- but had spent the last seven years studying it whilst teaching), and finished his coup-de-grace by expelling Fletcher from Egypt for good.

Image
The contaminated Big Zee 'carefully' examines King Tut. Note the haphazard arrangment and lack of protective clothing.

Since Fletcher the Archaeologists are gaining the courage to oppose Hawass. Dr Saleh Bedeir risked coming under fire when he attacked Zahi’s techniques during the scanning of Tutankhamun, accusing Hawass of unscientific behaviour that put the mummy under risk of decomposition, decay and contamination: “Instead of being a very important scientific event [the CT-scan] serves only media addicts” said Bedeir. Others too complain that “safety precautions ... were not taken into account” (Abdel-Halim Nuredim- Cairo University), and even Hawass’ highly respected precursors are beginning to take more active steps to raise awareness to his malpractices. Gaballa Ali Gaballa, Hawass’ predecessor points a finger at the temptation caused by lucrative deals with Western TV stations, which Hawass now evidently favours over Egyptian companies. Recently Toyota donated 11 Land cruisers to the SCA for field research in return for exclusive television rights sold to them by Hawass. Zahi is now the proud owner of two 2001 Toyota Land Cruisers.

In Hawass’ own words, “There are jealous archaeologists who are lazy. I call them followers of Seth, the devil God.”


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 2:14 pm 
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Our library has been closed down in the city in which I live due to mold problem's, and I live in the desert basically. Before the library closed .. I read part of a book written (recently) by/for Hawass and it was extremely political and self absorbed; very hard to get through to the important fact's of Egypt. Although he continue's to do much (staying busy) it is for very narrow cause's (meaning not wide range - as in scope). Therefore in saying, in my opinion he is limited :o in his research of the greatest undiscovered treasure's in the world!


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 3:42 pm 
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Psusennes I, I cannot dispute you on much what you said because I agree with much of it. I myself have repeatedly written how unpopular Hawass is with his colleagues, both at home and abroad. I arrived at this not from conjecture but what other professionals in the field have told me, when I've talked with them at our museum. It's no secret that Hawass is unpopular.

However, your description of the ongoing argument between Hawass and Fletcher is a bit one-sided. I've always felt there was more to it than just Fletcher's hasty conclusions--that is, that it was personal for Hawass--but the fact is, Dr. Fletcher has been roundly criticized by other Egyptologists far more experienced and capable than she. There was even a critique of her book in a recent edition of KMT that was quite scathing and pointed out shocking errors she had made in fundamental historical and artistic matters, many of which were the sorts of things that even we "lay people" would recognize as incorrect. Fletcher is a very intelligent and promising researcher, but she is inexperienced and leans toward the reckless...and is every bit as presumptuous as Hawass, though certainly a much easier person to work with.

You clearly dislike Hawass, but don't let it color your arguments. Fletcher's "discovery" has been dismissed by her peers. I can't think of any leading Egyptologist who supports her.

But yes, Hawass is responsible alone for blowing it so out of proportion, and I thought his behavior cruel and unprofessional. Then again, Fletcher tried using the "sexist" angle against the SCA when it barred her from Egypt, and that was nonsense. Neither the SCA nor Hawass is sexist: one of his most promising protégés is Salima Ikram, a brilliant and gifted young woman.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 3:15 pm 
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This so good everyone finally we are debating the issues :wink:
The big point is that Egypt has change since the early 1900
and the passion of Hawass is true, not a personal gig of him.
He share the passion for ancient Egypt, the Pharaohs and their
way of living.

And they are entitle to posses their own history and share it with us
They show today the respect for their ancient history and are trying
to learn from passed errors, But the people of the west, a special
the Lords and the imperials must take there responsibility of early
lootings and destruction. There are obelisks, Mummies art affects spreadaround the world who should be brought back to Egypt
not only because they truly belongs there, but also because
it was the great Pharaohs wishes to be buried with them.

And we all can agree that grave robbery in the name of a conquer
is as much grave robbery as any other.

I really think that Museums and countries around the globe that bring
key relics back really can benefit on that, To be know as the Museum
who sent back key relics is in modern days the best commercial you can have.

And if they where smart they should at the same time invest in Museums
like Cairo Museum to improve them and be part of them. and with today's
technology they can produce some fine replicas to show at their own museum
I really think that people would go there and visit them just in support
of their fine gestures.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 3:31 pm 
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Not again, please no, not again.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 6:07 pm 
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Psusennes I, I was just checking in to see if anyone had added to this thread of debate. I don't always seem to get notices in my e-mail from KingTutOne when people post.

Anyway, I was looking again at the photos you placed in your post. In your zeal to discredit Hawass, you made some mistakes. :D First of all, there's your caption for the photo of Hawass in the excavation:

Quote:
The Big Zee quite literally takes an axe to the Valley of the Golden Mummies. My uncle was there floor managing on set, and was truly horrifed at Zahi's lack of care.


That's not an axe he his holding. It's clearly a trowel, the most ubiquitous tool of all archaeologists. It's great for removing dirt bits at a time, and in the photo Hawass appears to be...well...moving dirt bits at a time. Your uncle did not point this out to you?

Then there's the photo of Hawass in the scan room. This whole process was quite liberally photographed, so I'll add a new one:

Image

Note the fellow to the right. He also is not wearing "protective clothing." It's nice that the lady in the other photo is thus outfitted, but the truth of it is, in many circumstances it's not necessary. This is not a sterile environment. About the only thing that is a must, is latex gloves so the oil on one's skin does not come into contact with ancient remains. I've seen no photos of Hawass holding mummies bare-handed. In fact, in your own photo he's clearly quite carefully avoiding contact. All he's doing is pointing. Bio suits are largely superfluous unless the remains are incredibly delicate or if you're working inside a tomb whose wall reliefs are crumbling due to high moisture content in the air, among other things. A mask is nice to wear when you're working around mummies, but it too is not all that necessary. Many researchers wear them more than anything to be sure they are not breathing in contaminants.

Just to show you I'm not making this up, here's a photo from the institution where I'm a docent, the Field Museum in Chicago. It was taken recently when we had a digital X-ray machine on loan and our scientists were taking films of some of our mummies. Note they are wearing gloves, and one woman is wearing a medical coat, but that's about it. That's all that's needed.

I don't mean to pick on you, Psusennes I. You're clearly highly intelligent and knowledgeable. I just find your fervent dislike of Hawass a bit extreme. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:19 am 
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I feel it silly for you to point out such minor incongruencies in what seems to me to be a completely valid argument. I am perfectly aware that in the particular photograph that I displayed Hawass was not utilising a bladed implement. There were many occasions however when the shape of the object that he was using was completely irrelevant, due to the overt force and unscientific methods that he was employing in a vain attempt to uncover treasures of the Bahariya Oasis. Indeed he did actually employ pick axes frequently during the excavation when the use was completely unmerited. Perhaps it would be more fervent of you to take up argument in defence of Hawass’ brutal methods at the Bahariya with Ahmed Salah, director of the SCA’s Abu Simbel antiquities department? When asked for his opinion on the live opening of the tombs in the so-dubbed ‘Valley of the Golden Mummies’ (which was broadcast to millions in both the US and UK for 2-hour specials) he said, “The excavations conducted by Hawass in the Bahariya were a real joke. How can a scientist hold an axe and just hack at a tomb on the air? All scientists should know that many important processes should precede the opening of any tomb. If you just hack away at it, you lose important historical evidence. I am sad that this is what Egyptology has come to.”

I am complete concordance with Mr. Salah; Hawass’ methods at the Bahariya were entirely deplorable. Thousands of years of historical evidence sacrificed in seconds for a few minutes of amusement and excitement for the general public. Hawass was indeed ‘shifting bits of earth’ with the various tools that he could lay his hands on, but this earth, which Hawass liberally crushed and threw out of tomb quite probably contained what few sherds of pottery and sarcophagus remained. Surely you noticed this? The program was shown live all across the globe, and received literally hundreds of complaints from archaeologists worldwide. When Hawass had failed to uncover anything of importance three-quarters of the way through the UK programme, he smashed down the dividing wall into the next chamber of the tomb which had been opened, and rushed straight back out having realised that there was nothing inside which would truly astound the press. Even an excavation spanning only a few subterranean chambers should take days to complete. Mapping and careful analysis of even the smallest finds should be conducted- especially in an area where precious little has been excavated. Hawass ignored this completely. He is on film doing it. Throwing stones aside in a frantic yet futile attempt to uncover something of visual value to please the thousands of viewers. Surely even you are horrified by the idea of hurriedly excavating an entire catacomb in just one hour, when it could have been done properly and carefully over a period of days?

In response to your slightly confused analysis of safety protocol regarding Egyptian mummies, Hawass once again denies all the allegations that he breached safety procedures. The Supreme Council of Antiquities (which I must stress is actually a working council) voted in a landslide against Tutankhamun being brought back to Cairo for extensive CT scans. Nevertheless Zahi persisted (it later came to light that he had already agreed to extensive television deals with several UK and American stations) and eventually ended up taking the scans in an entirely undesirable environment . The computers inside the lorry ended up overheating, and household fans were haphazardly arranged to cool the surroundings. Hawass is on film handling mummies without protective clothing (he lifts the ‘crossed’ arm and tilts the head), and despite what you say, if DNA tests are going to be performed with more than 50% accuracy then protective clothing must be worn- especially over the mouth and hands. Hawass says that “people should wear gloves and a mask” when handling mummies to avoid the risk of contamination and yet he fails to observe this rule ever- even when he does handle mummies. When he and Tara Brown investigated the remains of ‘Nefertiti’ they wore no protection at all- spraying their breath and sweat all over the already badly contaminated mummified remains. The DNA detected on Mummy 61072 by the SGC could be Hawass’ own. It could be Victor Loret’s or Grafton Elliot Smith’s. It most certainly was not the actual DNA of Mummy 61072 however. I understand that safety may not be an issue when dealing with the sort of globally unimportant remains that the Field Museum of Chicago has to examine, but for the remains of Tutankhamun and other Royal mummies what precious little DNA might remain must be protected at all costs.

Besides which, other than stall me you have not managed to detract at all from the authority and validity of my argument. You're clearly highly intelligent and knowledgeable, but you have done nothing less than agree with me on the majority of my comments on Hawass.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:14 pm 
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Despite your hubris in your comments Psusennes I don’t think you’re making such good points at all. Or is this another attempt like in the homework section where you’re just spewing stuff and hoping people buy it?

Is Hawass a pompous windbag and self-promoter? Yes no doubt in my mind about that.

Does he ban people from excavating?
Don’t be ridiculous here. Of course he will have to say no to some requests. That IS part of his job. If you look at the amount of activity going on in Egypt you can’t really make the claim he’s “holding up” work.
In Saqqara alone there are at least 5 teams: The Dutch, the French, the Scottish, the Australians and the Japanese. Not exactly a shortage.
In greater Egypt: it took up almost 4 pages in the latest KMT journal to list al the excavations going on in Egypt! There are many, many teams from all around the world active in Egypt. Of course some requests are going to be denied. And I expect some will not be gracious about it and cry conspiracy.


Hawass claims finds for himself?
That’s just silly. The find of Meryneith’s tomb by the Dutch? The find of Amenemope’s tomb (a goldsmith) in Saqqara by the Australian team? The find of the latest mummies and old kingdom tombs by the Australians? None of them were claimed by Hawass. They are attributed to Raven, Ockinga, Kanawati etc.
Hawass is present at the press releases. That is also his job. And there is a long standing tradition in Egypt. Maspero, one of Hawass’s predecessors was present at many of the excavations a century ago for instance. (Yuya and Tuya KV46 just to mention one)

Quote:
There was infact at the time of Fletcher’s discovery, a wealth of information in support of her claims.

No there wasn’t. All we could say was that it MAY have been a late 18th dynasty Queen. Considering that the mummy is buried with Tiye, it could very well them be one of MANY women:
Sitamen, Henuttaneb, Iset (Daughter-Wives of Amenhotep III), Meritaten, Ankhesenamen, Kiya. All of these might be expected to be buried in a queenly pose. There is no other evidence that point to Nefertiti specifically.
The idea that this was Nefertiti wasn’t even her own :roll:
(It was originally suggested by Marianne Luban)
Her arguments were poor, her research was poor and she did violate protocol. So I don’t think Hawass had to invent anything to take action against her.
Simple logic would dictate that there should be some overview and regulations governing what is officially brought out to the press. And that is just how academia works.
I think honestly that you vilify Hawass much more extensively than he went after Fletcher.

DNA test of mummy in KV35
That may be a false result, but your argument that it could just as well be H’s DNA or some other researcher is not as good of an argument as you make it out to be. I mean come on, these people know that DNA testing has to be done on some material that has not been contaminated.
I find the more interesting question: where did they take the sample from? By what I have read it should come from a bone fragment or a tooth to contain viable DNA. Not likely to belong to Hawass or Loret or who-ever.

About his excavation techniques:
Can’t comment too much on that. But I would be hesitant to make too much out of a tv broadcast. Just because he says it’s LIVE from a untouched tomb doesn’t mean that it is.
And even if it is, be realistic here. He has many years of experience and he is no idiot savant that came on the scene just recently. I would like to hear his side of the argument before making such accusations. (I’m not denying he may have done something stupid and thoughtless, but I would like to hear what he has to say.)

All in all I would not like to be in his shoes and have to make all the decisions he has to make. Sounds like a crappy job to me.
And historically the men in his position have always been vilified and criticized.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:32 pm 
Prince/Princess
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Merytre-Hatshepsut wrote:
Quote:
Despite your hubris in your comments Psusennes I don’t think you’re making such good points at all. Or is this another attempt like in the homework section where you’re just spewing stuff and hoping people buy it?


Thank you, my friend Merytre-Hatshepsut, for having the patience and acuity to put it into words better than I, because frankly I've grown weary of Psusennes I's transparent diatribe. As I said to him before, (though originally in kinder words), he's become so zealous in this neurotic anti-Hawass crusade that his arguments have grown progressively unreasonable and subjective. They lack substance.

Psusennes I wrote:
Quote:
I feel it silly for you to point out such minor incongruencies in what seems to me to be a completely valid argument. I am perfectly aware that in the particular photograph that I displayed Hawass was not utilising a bladed implement.


Silly? It is you who wrote in reference to that photograph (and again I quote):

Quote:
The Big Zee quite literally takes an axe to the Valley of the Golden Mummies. My uncle was there floor managing on set, and was truly horrifed at Zahi's lack of care.


If you were perfectly aware that Hawass was not using a bladed instrument, then why did you write "The Big Zee quite literally takes an axe to the..."? It serves no purpose for you to try to backtrack when you've been caught out and rearrange your argument when it was you who framed it in the first place.

I have neither seen nor heard of any of the evidence you provide for Hawass's supposed malfeasance in excavations. I personally have seen no more than a few minutes of footage of Hawass at Bahariya, and I know nothing of Salah's quotes, so I cannot comment in this particular matter. I cannot take your word for it alone. I'm not saying you're making it up--I simply have no corroboration for any of it myself. And frankly I'm more interested in researching ancient Egypt, not engaging in aimless, one-sided libel. I've better things to do with my time.

Quote:
In response to your slightly confused analysis of safety protocol regarding Egyptian mummies...The DNA detected on Mummy 61072 by the SGC could be Hawass’ own. It could be Victor Loret’s or Grafton Elliot Smith’s.


Indeed, in spite of your unnecessary and somewhat puerile slight against me, this DNA could have come from Hawass or Loret or Smith or some tourist who sneezed 10 yards away. That's irrelevant. Which is why when DNA is taken from ancient remains, it is not just scooped off the surface of some mummy's desiccated skin, which is unlikely to render a sample, anyway. DNA is extracted from teeth or the marrow channels of bone or similar areas where it is much more likely to be found. I'm slightly confused?

Quote:
I understand that safety may not be an issue when dealing with the sort of globally unimportant remains that the Field Museum of Chicago has to examine, but for the remains of Tutankhamun and other Royal mummies what precious little DNA might remain must be protected at all costs.


(Bold emphasis mine.)

Here again you use slight and insult to try to prove a point, but the only point you've made is that you're not sure just how much nonsense that sentence contains. This offends me, and that's not an easy thing to do. Most glaringly you seem to narrow the scope of important remains to "Royal mummies," when actually the human remains of the royals are not nearly so important to us as the mummies of commoners. They provide us a much better and more balanced idea of what ancient Egypt and its people were. Royal mummies constitute a microscopic percentage of the information obtained about the ancient population.

What offends me, though, is your slight against the Field. I don't know if you've ever been there, but if you have, you clearly toured it with your eyes closed. The Field possesses one of the most important ancient Egyptian exhibits in the United States. Most of our Egyptologists are professors and researchers from the Oriental Institute and University of Chicago (just down the road), and you might just remember that this particular university has been one of the world leaders in Egyptology since the very beginning...or have you somehow never heard of the Chicago House? In any case, if you narrow your scope to the royals, we have plenty of their stuff, but I personally don't consider it the most interesting. The Field possesses one of the world's finest collections of stone-wear vessels, particularly from predynastic times, as well as one of the finest Third Intermediate Period collections. We have one of the best-preserved mummies ever found, the Late Period man named Harwa. And speaking of mummies, we have more Egyptian mummies than any museum but one: the Egyptian Museum in Cairo itself. All of this is what led me to go through the rigorous process of becoming a docent there. And it's been one of the happiest experiences of my life. That's why I was offended by what you wrote. Please, broaden your horizons about what certain museums have in their collections before you write something so patently false.

The Egyptian collection is just one, of course. The Field is a world leader in its anthropological collection, its botanic collection, its entomological collection, its mammals collection, and numerous others. The Field is a world-renown research institution whose scientists and anthropologists are studying all corners of the globe at this very moment. I'm shocked you had no idea but evidently you don't, and that ordinarily would be no big deal...until you go and write something as thoughtless as "globally unimportant." Please, think before you write.

I could go on and on, but I won't. There's no need to. Your unkind comment bears out your lack of understanding. I've been very impressed with many things you've written both here and at the E.D. forum where I first met you, but never before have I seen such a pretentious side of you.

For my part I apologize if my last post or this post has offended you. But to close this matter, I think I shall refrain from conversing with you any longer, at least for a while. This is something I rarely do. I come to these forums to learn and share and laugh, not bicker and engage in conspiracy theories. That's a waste of my time.

Best of luck to you Psusennes I. You write good stuff, but please divorce yourself from the uber-scholar complex. It does not suit you. You're better than that. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 1:30 am 
Pharaoh
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Joined:Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:00 am
Posts:912
Location: England
I'm sorry. Perhaps you misunderstand my angle. I do dislike Hawass instensely, but I accept whole-heartedly that you seem to adore him.

You claim that I have made no strong points, and yet I am wholly dumbfounded by this statement. The fact that you are making such petty claims as to make such puerile statements in opposition surely demonstrates the lack of substance to your argument. If you are unable to comment on Hawass’ excavation methods then perhaps you should investigate them for yourself before obsequiously boasting of his greatness. I have quoted the likes of many high members of the SCA, who are all growing steadily in their opposition to Hawass, you have yet to quote one single person- except yourself, and I too cannot go on ‘cannot take your word for it alone.’

In response to my malediction, I apologise profusely. I did get out of hand, and I’m sorry. All I meant to say is that perhaps with royal mummies one must be more careful with regards to contamination, especially when accurate DNA tests could prove invaluable to the identification process. Anyway. I am sorry. I would ask you to make some points in support of Hawass for your next post however, as they seem to be fairly thin.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:26 am 
Prince/Princess
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Joined:Wed May 04, 2005 3:48 pm
Posts:210
Location: USA
Good lord, you just don't get it do you?

We (and I think I can speak for kmt_sesh as well) never claimed we "adore" Hawass. We never "boasted of his greatness".

All we pointed out was that what you posted was a one-sided diatribe.
We tried to put in some of the other side of the argument.
I think many of your arguments were were not well thought out (I explaiend which). All you do is put up a nasty attitude about it.

Like we both said it's pretty clear he's not geatly loved by people (including those in the Egyptological community).

For as far as quoting people in favor of him: Can't think of people who have come out and said he was the best thing since sliced bread. Then again he was appointed to the post in 2002. He must have had the credentials otherwise he wouldn't be there.
And I have to say (being an academic myself) in that environment criticism is always heavy while praise is not as likely to be published. [Not meant as an argument just a perspective to think about]


Quote:
All I meant to say is that perhaps with royal mummies one must be more careful with regards to contamination, especially when accurate DNA tests could prove invaluable to the identification process.

That I do wholeheartedly agree with. I do hope better care is taken with these remains so that when the time is right some DNA testing can be performed.

Time may prove you right on the statements about his excavation methods. We will see.
To be honest I'm personally not interested enough to "investigate" anything. In the large scheme of things there are many things far more interesting to me than this issue.

And to quote kmt_sesh:

Quote:
I think I shall refrain from conversing with you any longer, at least for a while. This is something I rarely do. I come to these forums to learn and share and laugh, not bicker and engage in conspiracy theories. That's a waste of my time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:43 am 
Pharaoh
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Joined:Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:00 am
Posts:912
Location: England
I agree that my post was one-sided, but it was there to explain the reasons why I dislike him, not the reasons why others are fans of his.

I agree that I did get a bit carried away with my denunciation of Hawass, but you surely realise that the points I have made are valid and becoming more and more widely endorsed. My arguments do not 'lack substance' and they are certainly not 'entirely subjective'. I have quoted some of the most authoritative minds in Egyptology, mentioned a plethora of events that stigmatise Hawass and even gone so far as to point out several incidents that make Hawass not only appear egocentric but also a hypocrite. I fully agree that I did occasionally (unjustly) veer off into harangue, but the basis of the points are there- and you have done little to denounce them other than calling them baseless and subjective. I suggested that you use counter-sources to riposte, but this was somewhat ignored. Incidentally, Hawass himself is actually also just as guilty as I am of being censorious- perhaps even more so.

The fact that Kmt_Sesh began by calling himself a 'fan' of Hawass (i.e an ardent devotee), before later saying that he agreed with much of my argument. I really am at a loss here. The only point of that I have been able to extrapolate from the reams of text that you have typed in support of Hawass is that he is recognisable, eye-catching on television and attracts the media. To my eye the methods that he has been using to attract this attention are not particularly fantastic to say the least. Several events spring to mind- the hastily scanned remains of Tutankhamun, the denunciation of Fletcher (in which Hawass twisted both his own and Fletcher's words to keep himself in the green- despite being as guilty as faulty analysis as she was) and the ransacking of a unique tomb on live on air (and I assure you that it was live- my uncle floor managed, he's a lecturer at Oxford). Incidentally whilst he has a mild uneasiness when it comes to Hawass, one of his employers, the Head of Egyptology at Oxford, supports Hawass strongly. I understand the reasons why this is the case for many. Hawass is a larger than life character and he promotes the country incredibly effectively, but I think that the methods that he utilises are not perhaps the best for Egypt's heritage- only her tourism and popularity. Hawass needs to establish a balance between these two things, and at the moment I think that the mix needs to be readjusted. Hawass has the willpower and skills to do this, but he seems to be too much of a 'pompous windbag' to accept this.

He says himself- "I never wasted my time fighting people. I have never hurt anyone with my life, but if you try to hurt me then I will tell you to get out of my way."

I don't want to be rude any more, and I agree not to rush off into overt vilification of Hawass again. I merely want to hear the arguments in support of Hawass.


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