Archaeology and Ancient Egypt
English edition  
April  2017
280 pp.
61 bw 
15X23 cm
ISBN 9789774168253
For sale worldwide


Protecting Pharaoh's Treasures

My Life in Egyptology Wafaa El Saddik
With Rüdiger Heimlich
Translated by Russell Stockman

The incisive memoir of the first woman to become general director of Cairo's Egyptian Museum

Growing up in Egypt’s Nile Delta, Wafaa El Saddik was fascinated by the magnificent pharaonic monuments from an early age, and as a student she dreamed of conducting excavations herself and working in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. At a time when Egyptology was dominated by men, especially those with close connections to the regime, she was determined to succeed, and secured grants to study in Boston, London, and Vienna, eventually becoming the first female general director of the country’s most prestigious museum. She launched the first general inventory of the museum's cellars in its more than hundred-year history, in the process discovering long-forgotten treasures, as well as confronting corruption and nepotism in the antiquities administration. In this very personal memoir, she looks back at the history of her country and asks, What happened to Egypt? Where did Nasser’s bright new beginning go wrong? Why did Sadat fail to bring peace? Why did the Egyptians allow themselves to be so corrupted by Mubarak? And why was the Muslim Brotherhood able to achieve power? But her first concern remains: How can the ancient legacy of her country truly be protected?
Bookmark and Share
Wafaa El Saddik studied Egyptology in Cairo and Vienna. She was the first Egyptian woman to direct an excavation, and the first female general director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. She has been honored for her curatorial work on exhibitions inside and outside Egypt, and has received a number of international professional and humanitarian awards. She lives in Cologne and Cairo.

Customer Reviews

No available reviews

Write your own review ›


“A brave book, an exciting biography, and an unusually open look at the history of a country and its people.”—Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger<br><br>"Not only the fascinating story of one woman's life in Egyptology, but also a marvellous window onto life in Egypt over the past seven decades."—Aidan Dodson, University of Bristol<br><br>

“An inspiring and highly readable memoir of an Egyptian woman’s journey from a young village girl to a prominent Egyptologist and the head of one of the most important museums in the world. With dedication and passion to protect and preserve Egyptian antiquity she had to fight sexism, corruption, and authoritarianism throughout her career. The book provides first-hand insight into the political and social environment in Egypt from Nasser’s time to the present. An important read for those interested in Egypt’s cultural heritage and its modern sociopolitical dynamics.”—Mohamed ElBaradei, former vice-president of Egypt

"Anyone with an interest in people, archeology, and Egyptian history (both ancient and modern), will find this a book they cannot put down and gives one hope for Egypt’s future. It includes many excellent photos from the life of a remarkable woman, a role model for women everywhere."—Woman around Town

Customer Reviews

Click here to be the first one to post a review (only registered customers can review)

HomeFAQsPurchasing PoliciesAUCSite FeedbackSite MapSite Credits
Copyright © 2014 AUC Press, All Rights Reserved.