Could Egypt be on the verge of discovering Cleopatra's tomb outside of Alexandria? Early signs point to an impending discovery of her long-sought burial ground, according to one of the world's leading archaeologists, Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities.
This was just one of the intriguing tidbits that Hawass shared with supporters of the Houston Museum of Natural Science at the annual Excellence in Science Luncheon, held at Houston Country Club. Described by museum president Joel Bartsch as a "rock star archaeologist," Hawass mesmerized the gathering of close to 200 with tales of his momentus career.
Among his accomplishments, Hawass has founded 22 museums and has been responsible for the return of 6,000 antiquities to his native land. "Ancient Egypt is in the heart of everyone because of the pyramids," he told the gathering.
Hawass' engaging commentary was highlight of the program that included presentation of teaching excellence awards in science and math and outstanding student awards in science and math. Teaching honors, presented by Bartsch and Ernie Cockrell, went to Thomas Heilman and Mycael Parks while student scholarships were presented to Rolando Marquez and Philip Tan.
Former museum president Truett Latimer and Harriet Latimer chaired the luncheon that raised close to $50,000 for museum educational programs.
Guests lined up for Hawass' autograph after his presentation. Among those applauding the scholar were Consul General of Egypt Khaled Rady and his wife, Manal Affara, Anne Mendelsohn, Laurie Morian, George Farris, Sam Stubbs, Nancy Ruez, Kelli Weinzierl, Kelley Lubanko, Bill Wheless and Stacy and John Wilkirson.