Zahi Hawass is a legend of archaeology in Egypt. Photo: David Degner (Getty Images)
Zahi Hawass is a world legend of archaeology in Egypt. Photo: David Degner (Getty Images)

Zahi Hawass, a world authority in archaeology, opens EU-LATAM headquarters in Bilbao

The new international center in Bilbao will offer an extensive program of activities


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Last week, the prestigious Egyptian Egyptologist and archaeologist Zahi Hawass, known as the 'Indiana Jones' of Egyptology, opened an international center of archaeology in Bilbao that will serve as headquarters to carry out conferences, exhibitions and short courses and also congresses and international events related to the science in the regions of Europe and Latin America.

The new headquarters of the Zahi Hawass International Centre of Archaeology for Europe and Latin America also plans to develop an extensive program of educational activities aimed at students of history and the organization of international congresses and events on history and archaeology, in collaboration with universities and cultural institutions.

Hawass, 75, former Minister of Antiquities of Egypt, is one of the most recognized authorities in world archaeology, after several decades studying Ancient Egypt.

With important findings in his career, he is the author of 32 works on the subject and currently leads a movement aimed at demanding the return of various objects and materials from Ancient Egypt that are scattered in various public and private collections around the world, as reported by EiTB media. 
2022 is a particularly important year for Ancient Egyptian scholars, as it coincides with the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in the famous Valley of the Kings. 

In one of the opening lectures, Hawass revealed some little-known curiosities about Tutankhamun's tomb, such as the fact that the very young pharaoh used walking sticks: 130 were found in his tomb. According to Hawass, the very young pharaoh "had flat feet and suffered from malaria." 

Hawass announced that in September he will officially present two important discoveries: the mummy of Queen Nefertiti and the so-called Golden City, 3,400 years old, discovered two years ago in Luxor.

"There is 70% of ancient Egypt that still remains buried," he said. 

Egyptology in Latin America

In Latin America, interest in ancient Egyptian civilization began more than a hundred years ago, driving the purchase of collections by some museums, as well as the appearance of courses and chairs in universities, "which, although generally located in a broader panorama in the environment of classical archeology and ancient history, in the last century somehow inserted the region in the international academic world specialized in these studies," wrote Uruguayan Egyptologist Juan José Castillos in an essay on the state of Egyptology in Latin America published five years ago.

In Argentina, the field work of Dr. Abraham Rosenvasser, founder of the Institute of Ancient Oriental History of the University of Buenos Aires, which will host the VII Iberoamerican Congress of Egyptology on September 5, 6 and 7, stands out.

The other Latin American country with intense academic work in Egyptology is Brazil, where the subject has been pursued in numerous universities for many years at a high level by numerous outstanding researchers. such as Dr. Ciro Cardoso. However, due to lack of governmental and private economic support for Egyptian archaeology or the ability to participate actively in symposiums, the works of local researchers have little international repercussion, according to Castillos.

In recent times, other countries in the region have shown a greater interest in the subject, as is the case of Mexico, Dominican Republic, Chile, Venezuela and to a lesser degree others, "but without yet achieving the level that would allow them to fully integrate into the international specialized academic community," concludes Castillo.


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