NEWS UPDATE, January 2002:
from the office of Dr. Zahi Hawass

Clintonís visit to the pyramids

 Former President Clinton visited the pyramids with Gamal Mubarak yesterday, January 18th.  Mr. Clinton entered the Great Pyramid of Khufu, and visited the Solar Boat and the Sphinx. I told him about the discoveries of the tombs of the pyramid builders. He was very interested in this site and planned to visit it but he stayed for two hours at the pyramids and did not have time to see the workmanís cemetery. I recommended that he read the article about the builders of the pyramids in the November issue of National Geographic. He was fascinated to know how the pyramids were built and how the ancient Egyptianís moved the stones. I told him about the work National Geographic and the Japanese are doing on the conservation of the second boat pit. We went to the Sphinx. The sun was shinning and he was able to see the Sphinx in all its glory. I showed him the tunnel that we cleared at the back of the Sphinx and I told him a joke. My dear friend Mark Lehner warned us that everyone who entered the tunnel would be cursed. When we entered the tunnel for the first time we found an old shoe that had belonged to someone who had entered in the past. As we got ready to enter I sent an American friend of mine in first to take the curse. Clinton said he plans to return to Egypt for a three-day cruise and he will visit the pyramids again then. A few weeks ago I met Tony Blare.  Mr. Blare had requested that there be no photographers or news at the pyramids when he visited. I spoke to him and asked him to please allow photographs because I felt it would help tourism. He agreed to have photographers to help Egyptís tourism. I believe that the visits of Clinton and Blare will help tourism.  I feel sorry when I see the warm sun and the warmth of the Egyptian people and the security at every sight and so few tourist visiting this magical place. I hope all of you will come back and visit Egypt soon. 

Excavation News

We started our excavations in the tombs of the pyramid builders and we plan to excavate until June. We will start the excavation in the Valley of the Golden Mummies on March 2nd. We are also working on the publication of the recently discovered tomb in Saqqara of the physician Kar and the identification of the surgical tools found in his tomb. Some of the surgeons in Cairo are trying to identify each tool and its function.

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