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The Great Belzoni: Archaeologist Extraordinary
The Great Belzoni Archaeologist Extraordinary Author:Stanley Mayes By his indomitable energy he has attached Egypt to his name forever. Belzoni was, according to Sir Walter Scott, "the handsomest man I ever saw." Born in Italy of humble parents, he migrated to England and began his professional career as a circus strong man; his feats of strength and conjuring tricks soon made him a favorite with audiences at... more » Sadlers Wells. He was six and a half feet tall, immensely strong, and as graceful as a ballet dancer. In his sort life he found time to be a barber, a monk, an engineer, an African explorer, and--most important of all--one of the first great archaeologists.
By 1815 Belzoni had made his was to Egypt, in an attempt to interest the Pasha in a new type of water wheel. When this failed, Belzoni, almost by accident, turned to archaeology, and in the next four years he made a series of some of the most staggering discoveries and excavations the world has ever seen. It was Belzoni who delivered the colossal head of Rameses II to the British Museum, excavated the burial temple of Abu Simbel, discovered six royal tombs in the Valley of Kings, opened the Second Pyramid and found the lost city of Berenice.« less