Published this March, the 400-page book has silver- (not gold) gilded pages and a silk book cover. The book itself contains highly valuable photographs, and all copies are personally signed by Hawass. Again, 22000LE?
UK publishing company Heritage World Press has published only 750 copies of the book, 50 of which are being distributed by AUC Press in Egypt. A Secret Voyage chronicles Hawass’ years of experience as an Egyptologist and the Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The book covers his many archaeological discoveries, such as the Valley of the Golden Mummies and the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut. Most recently, Hawass made international headlines when he announced his team’s discovery of the cause for Tutankhamen’s mysterious death (spoiler alert: it was malaria) and embarked on a mission to bring back the most famous pharaonic antiquities to Egypt, such as the Rosetta stone from the British Museum and a bust of Queen Nefertiti at Berlin’s Egyptian Museum.
According to the AUC Press release, Hawass’ anecdotes promise to be entertaining, which we don’t doubt: having watched several of his TV interviews and documentaries; we believe that Hawass is charismatic in that Mofeed Fawzy way.
Italian photographer Sandro Vannini supplies the 166 photographs accompanying Hawass’ book. Using cutting-edge digital techniques and special lighting, he captures stunning high-resolution images of many of Hawass’ discoveries, including the intricate details of a tomb painting, a gold shrine engraving and many other treasures.
One of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2006, Hawass will surely have insightful tales on the most fascinating Egyptology discoveries in the past century. As valuable as his tales may be, we still can’t quite fathom the 22000LE price tag. Surely this book belongs in a museum like the antiquities themselves.
Egyptology students and fans of the white-fedora-wearing Egyptologist may appreciate browsing through A Secret Voyage, allegedly available at all AUC bookstores. We would have loved to review this book for you, but sadly we can’t afford the price tag since we have mouths to feed; namely our own. Whether the silver-leaf pages, the high-resolution images or even the book's clamshell case justify the down-payment-for-a-car price tag remains to be seen.