Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778-1823)

Giovanni BelzoniItalian excavator and explorer
Due to his gigantic proportions and strength, Belzoni had a successful early career as strong man in a London circus. He also had an interest in hydraulics and went to Egypt in 1815, hoping to sell an improved water-wheel. When this failed, he was employed by Salt in the removal of heavy sculptures from various sites. Belzoni became a great explorer who opened the temples of Abu Simble, the tomb of Seti I, and the pyramid of Khephren, excavated at Karnak, and visited the oases. He died during an expedition to the source of the Niger.