Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, May 08, 2009

Over the years there has been significant anti-Hawass sentiment. I first heard it from "alternative" Egytologist but recently it has spread to blogs - even the comments here demonstrate that many have quite equivolcal views about the professionalism of Dr Hawass, with particular concern about his constant campaign of self-promotion. I have tried not to get drawn in but I would be more comfortable if discoveries were announced by the SCA and with the aim of promoting the SCA as a whole and not just Dr Hawass.

In the past few weeks, things seem to have progressed to the next stage. I've read a few articles in more mainstream media which describe his style as "unique", note his self-promotion and his ability to "fill in the gaps" of stories, going beyond the facts. A good example is this article in the Middle East edition of the New York Times.

"There are scientists who say he is too concerned with self-promotion and is often loose with facts. There are Egyptian antiquities workers who complain that he takes credit for their accomplishments."

As Hawass is the gatekeper to news about Ancient Egypt the press exhibit a degree of restraint but I wonder whether, as an Egyptian, he is aware of how quickly the Western press which he has courted can turn on somebody if they feel there are scores to settle when the need for restraint is eventually removed.

5 comments:

tim said...

Hi Kate

I agree that the SCA should take more responsibility as a whole with less emphasis on Dr. Hawass. Over the years the fine doctor has made mistakes but so have I and most of us do. However I certainly think that without proper scientific protocol (that of course being unbiased scientist reviewing his work)we will never truly know whether Dr. Hawass actually did identify the mummy of Hatschepsut or misused his million dollar resources.

Over the years and having read many books and article of Dr. Hawass' and have found that he gives credit for discoveries made by others even if the discoverer is unhappy with Dr. Hawass moving in on their find they do after all belong to his watch.

The intense focus he places on himself can be a little much the doctor releases a short video for his website on being beneath the step pyramid and yet we see very little of the site and too much of the doctors face.

Less face time would be nice and more film based on the subject he is presenting.

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