Hundreds of Mummies Found in Egyptian Caves

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"Many of the objects are from illegal excavations, so we have no way of knowing about them," he said. "By going onto the Internet and going through the basements of museums, we find many pieces about which we know nothing."

Hidden Treasures of Ancient Egypt, one of two new books from Hawass, features rarely seen antiquities, many of which were found forgotten in warehouses or the Egyptian Museum's basement.

The artifacts—which include painted statues, bronze sculptures or cats, jeweled pendants, and a prosthetic toe—were found, dusted off, and brought together for a new exhibition at the museum.

Another new book from Hawass, Curse of the Pharaohs, is targeted for children ages ten and up. Hawass considers education—for children and for all Egyptians—a top priority.

"Native Egyptians should know about their heritage and history," he said. "This will help us make them understand that the Egyptians once were the most advanced civilization in terms of science, art, technology, and language.

"Education will help them, when they visit a site, to take care of the monuments, not to touch them or damage them, and preserve it for the future. We have to keep Egypt today like yesterday."

Hidden Treasures of Ancient Egypt and Curse of the Pharaohs are available from National Geographic Books.

Scroll down for more news stories on ancient Egypt.

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