After our balloon outing, our small four-person group went off to have breakfast and visited the Colossi of Memnon.
Dr. Mostafa Waziri: Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt
I first met Dr. Waziri in 2018 during my first trip to Egypt with Archaeological Paths. At that time, he was working at Karnak in Luxor on a restoration project. I found him to be a very passionate person and the subject of Egyptology is all-consuming for him. While he enjoys his job as Secretary-General, he lives for fieldwork. He has not changed at all. He is an incredible spokesperson for his country and is a good foil for Dr. Hawass-more about this later. Dr. Waziri provided us with a great lecture and told us a little bit about the recent discoveries in Dra Abu el-Naga.
Here is a little taste of his exuberant personality and a little background on the discoveries made in 2017 at Dra Abu el-Naga. (See video below)
After Dr. Waziri’s talk, he invited our group to join him in going down a 60’ shaft to learn more about what they are still uncovering today. While I must refrain from discussing any details of what we saw since the excavation work is in process, it was fun and exciting. The experience is the “stuff dreams are made of.” The video only shows how we made the journey down the shaft, no other details or photos-sorry.
While we did not want to say good-bye to Dr. Waziri, but we had a schedule to stick to and we would see him later in the day for another lecture. Before we went off to see the Valley of the Queens, we visited the shop of a local stone carver. With no formal training, his works are incredible. Many of the large museums in the world use his services to make reproductions.
Valley of the Queens
If you would like to know more about the Valley of the Queens, here is a link to a 390-page pdf on the subject. Happy reading!
1) QV 44 – Tomb of Khaemwaset, Son of Rameses III
2) QV 55 – Tomb of Amenherkhepshef, Son of Rameses III
3) QV 52 – Queen Titi, A wife and sister of Ramesses III and possibly the mother of Ramesses IV
4) QV 66 – Nefertari, Great wife to Rameses II, I visited this tomb in 2018, but this time the experience was even better since they now allow you to use your cell phone to take photos!
QV 66 Nefertari’s tomb
The colors in this tomb are breathtaking. The Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Getty Conservation Institute did a great job of preserving this tomb. Your time is limited inside the tomb due to ongoing conservation efforts, so spend your time wisely trying to soak in all the beauty. https://www.getty.edu/conservation/our_projects/field_projects/nefertari/
After our visit to the Valley of the Queens, we visited a papyrus shop and then headed back to our hotel. Here are a few pics of the Steinburger in Luxor.
Around 6 PM, we had our second lecture with Dr. Waziri. He gave us a PowerPoint presentation of all the current excavations going on in Egypt. The Ministry of Antiquities puts out a monthly newsletter where you can learn all about what is happening. http://www.egyptologyforum.org/MOA/MOA.html
After he finished the lecture, he invited every one of us to ask him a question. He gave us all very thoughtful answers, and then we were off to dinner. I had the honor and privilege to sit next to him during our feast. The dinner started at 7 PM, and he entertained us with facts until 9 PM.
A very funny story
During that time, I also found out Dr. Waziri has a wicked sense of humor. Towards the end of the evening, he received a call. His phone was on the table, he looked at it, and then told me to answer it. I could see from the caller ID it was Dr. Hawass. I was grinning like a Cheshire cat when I picked up the phone and said, “Hello Dr. Hawass.” I got no reply. I then said, “Hello Dr. Hawass, this is Nancy.” He then replied, “Nancy who?” I said, “Nancy, from Archaeological Paths Egypt 2 tour, and I am sitting next to Mostafa.” Dr. Hawass then told me to be very careful sitting next to him! lol
I then gave the phone to Dr. Waziri! 🙂
They both are a riot and that is why I said earlier that Dr. Waziri is the perfect foil for Dr. Hawass. What fun!
I was then off to bed.
If you enjoy reading my posts about Egypt, STEM, Drones, MIT, mountains, or mysteries I hope you will want to run out and purchase my first book, “Osiris Returns”. With some luck, it should come to market late 2020 / early 2021. Please consider staying in the loop. An email sign-up form is located at the bottom of my home page along with my social media links. Your email will only be used to alert you when my book comes out. I will not use or share your email for any other purpose.