Donald P. Ryan

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Donald P. Ryan (born 1957) is an American archaeologist, Egyptologist, writer and a member of the Division of Humanities at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. His areas of research interest include Egyptian archaeology, Polynesian archaeology, the history of archaeology, the history of exploration, ancient languages and scripts and experimental archaeology. He is best known for his research in Egypt including excavations in the Valley of the Kings where he investigated the long-neglected undecorated tombs in the royal cemetery. His work there resulted in the rediscovery of the lost and controversial tomb KV60, the re-opening of the long-buried KV21 with its two female and likely royal occupants, and tombs KV27, KV28, KV44 and KV45. The mummy found within KV60 was convincingly identified as that of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut in 2007.

Between 1995 and 2002, Ryan worked closely with the Norwegian explorer, archaeologist and writer Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002). Among their many projects, the two directed excavations at the site of the Pyramids of Guimar on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Ryan has been entrusted with continuing some of the research aspects of Heyerdahl’s legacy.

Other research by Ryan includes investigations of ancient Egyptian cordage and other technologies, biographical studies of early archaeologists such as Giovanni Belzoni, studies of the influence of antiquity on the arts, and the documentation of petroglyphs on the island of Hawaii.

As a writer and researcher, Ryan is the author of numerous scientific and popular articles on archaeological subjects. His books include volumes in the popular Complete Idiot’s Guide Series (Lost Civilizations, Biblical Mysteries, Ancient Egypt and World of the Bible), The Everything Family Guide to Hawai’i, and A Shattered Visage Lies…Nineteenth Century Poetry Inspired By Ancient Egypt. His television credits include "The Face of Tutankhamun" (BBC-Television/A&E), "Valley of the Kings" (Channel 4, U.K.), "Biography: Howard Carter" (A&E), "Great Builders of Egypt" (A&E), "Missing Mummies" (Learning Channel), "Ancient Mysteries of the World: Easter Island" (PAX Network), and "Secrets of Egypt's Lost Queen" (Discovery Channel).

Ryan is a Fellow of The Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society, a founding member of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation for Exploration and Research on Cultural Origins, a mountaineering instructor, long-distance runner, and pianist.

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