Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D., Professor of History
Date of Award
History and Social Studies Education Department
York Norman, PhD.
Department Home page
York Norman, Ph.D.
Michael Lazich, Ph.D.
Birsen Bulmus, Ph.D.
Egypt has been a nation plagued with political corruption since the early years of colonialism. After being under French and then British domination throughout the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century, the 1952 Revolution under Egypt’s Free Officers gave, Egypt a rare opportunity for independent political and cultural growth. Although change occurred politically―as seen in the Suez Crisis―Egypt’s antiquities remained stagnant and still under the influence of foreigners. Egypt’s antiquities were directly supervised by the British and the French until that time, but remained influenced even after the political revolution. There were few Egyptians involved in preservation of antiquities or the establishment of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo in 1897. It was not until Dr. Zahi Hawass, regarded by many as ‘Egypt’s Modern Day Indiana Jones,’ that a true transformation of the Egyptian Museum and its antiquities occurred. Hawass rose to the center of his field and became known internationally by his recognizable appearance, dressed in his denim shirts and jeans complete with ‘Indiana Jones’ hat. He also limited foreign access to the dig sites, and tried with some success to reclaim artifacts lost earlier. Yet, Hawass was dogged by corruption charges despite, or perhaps because of these successes. The times―at least in this aspect―never changed.
Smith, Christine, "The Power of Corrupt Political Environments and its Effects on Museums: A look at Egypt’s Modern-Day ‘Indiana Jones’: Dr. Zahi Hawass" (2014). History Theses. 27.