Continuing to Abydos we visited the regular tourist sites of Seti I and Ramesses II temples and Shunet el Zebib but the highlight of the day was to be another AWT special. We had a permit to enter the  hidden tomb of Senusret III and before entry Chris gave us the latest news on research being carried out by Joseph Wegner and his team. Entry to the tomb was tricky but many of the group made it to the two undecorated rock-cut chambers. Following Chris’s lead a few others scaled a masonry blocked corridor and followed the horizontal passage past the double shafts and on to the burial chamber. A truly exciting experience.

Our final two days were in Luxor staying at the Lovely Winter Palace. Both days we were headed to the West Bank to visit more tombs.  The Valley of the Kings being first call and our first tomb was a special permit entry. KV55 although small and undecorated is famous for the dismantled gilded shrine panels, damaged royal coffin and canopic jars all viewed while we were in Cairo Museum. Chris explained the layout of the tomb and the problems surrounding the interpretation of the finds and clearance by Theodore Davis in 1907. After free time to explore more tombs on our own we drove to the West Valley to enter the tomb of Ay. After a local lunch we  went to the Workmen’s Village at Deir el Medina where we had plenty of time to enter all possible open tombs. The Ramesseum, Asasif, Deir el Bahri and Medinet Habu all featured.

Our last official visit on the tour was a visit to meet up with Dr Kent Weeks at the Theban Mapping Project Library. We were greeted with the good news that at last work is to begin on a purpose built library on the West Bank. On our next visit we may even be able to see the new site.

Kent explained his work on the library project and showed everyone round the small rooms full of books that are proving so useful to so many people from tourists and Egyptology students to Inspectors.  Educating children on the importance of the environment and care of the monuments is vital so local children can go to the library to hear talks, play and learn. Many passengers carried gifts of pens, pencils, crayons, craft materials and made donations to this very worthwhile cause. Everyone agreed it was a perfect way to end the wonderful tour.

 

A wonderful time was had by all. Once again a huge thank you to Medhat for his guiding skills and to Wael for all his help.
 
And of course, thank you to Chris for sharing his ideas and enthusiasm and giving such thought provoking talks along the way. And as always, THANK YOU EGYPT.

                                                                               Watch this space for details on publication of the book! https://chrisnaunton.com/