For more than a year the encounter that took place at the Mena House Hotel, Giza Egypt, on 22 April 2015 between famed Egyptologist Dr Zahi Hawass and controversial alternative historian Graham Hancock, had been billed as"the first open debate between the representatives of two completely different versions of history." On the night of the event, however, as Graham Hancock was focussing his slides prior to giving his opening presentation, and before most of the audience had even entered the room, Dr Hawass saw that one slide contained a photograph of Hancock’s colleague Robert Bauval, originator of the Orion correlation theory with whom Dr Hawass has had disagreements for many years. Dr Hawass immediately became furiously angry and began to shout at Hancock and at Hancock’s wife Santha (Santha is wearing the white dress in the video). Hawass demanded that Hancock censor his talk to remove all references to Robert Bauval and the Orion correlation theory. When Hancock explained that the alternative view of history that he was on stage to represent could not exclude the Orion correlation and therefore could not exclude Robert Bauval, Dr Hawass, again shouting, marched out of the debating room. One member of the audience who was present managed to record part of Dr Hawass’s meltdown which is the subject of this video.
Meanwhile, as the audience began to arrive, frantic negotiations took place off stage between the conference organisers and Dr Hawass. Finally Dr Hawass agreed to return and give his talk and answer questions from the audience, but he refused absolutely to hear or see Hancock’s talk, or to engage in any debate with Hancock. Hancock therefore gave his talk to the audience without Dr Hawass present (Dr Hawass sat in a room outside the conference hall while Hancock spoke).
When Hancock had finished he answered questions from the audience. Then Dr Hawass entered, gave his talk, answered questions from the audience and left. During Dr Hawass’s Q&A he was asked a question about the 11,600-year-old megalithic site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and whether it had any impact on his assessment of the disputed age of the megalithic Great Sphinx of Giza (which Hancock and others have proposed may be of similar antiquity). Unfortunately it appeared that Dr Hawass was completely ignorant of the existence or implications of Gobekli Tepe, arguably the most important archaeological site in the world, so he was unable to answer the question which he passed on to the moderator, Dr Miroslav Barta, Head of the Czech Archaeological Institute in Cairo (who was by prior agreement not supposed to intervene or take sides in the debate at all) and whose knowledge of Gobekli Tepe was also clearly incomplete (for example Dr Barta stated that Gobekli Tepe dates from the "late eleventh millennium BC through the tenth millennium BC" whereas in fact the dates presently established for Gobekli Tepe are from 9600 BC -- tenth millennium BC -- through 8200 BC -- ninth millennium BC -- i.e. from 11,600 years ago to 10,200 years ago). Dr Barta also used circular logic, arguing that Egyptian civilisation is thousands of years younger than Gobekli Tepe and that therefore there could be no connection, whereas this is exactly the matter in debate, and the point of the question asked, namely whether the findings at Gobekli Tepe require open-minded consideration of the possibility that the Great Sphinx and other megalithic structures at Giza, and with them the origins of Egyptian civilisation, might in fact be much older than Egyptologists presently maintain.