Temples, Tombs and Ancient Lives with Dr Chris Naunton

Join us on this week in Luxor based at the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for an in depth look at Ancient Thebes. We visit many of the major sites with a rare chance to enter tombs closed to the general public. Time also to enjoy some relaxed moments at our comfortable hotel. This tour is escorted throughout by Dr Chris Naunton who will give illustrated talks during the week.

TEMPLES, TOMBS AND ANCIENT LIVES

DEPARTING 24th February 2025

Temple of Hatshepsut
Tomb of Thutmose III KV34

We have arranged a special private entry to KV34, the Tomb of Thutmose III

And a private entry permit to KV20, the Tomb of Pharaoh Hatshepsut

We will study of some of the most famous Pharaohs, the lives they led and the monuments they left for us to explore. 

Join us on this week in Luxor based at the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for an in depth look at Ancient Thebes. We look at many of the major sites but also take time to enjoy some relaxed moments at our comfortable hotel. This tour is escorted throughout by Dr Chris Naunton who will give lectures during the week.

Day 1 - Monday 24th February 2025

We fly London Heathrow to Luxor and on arrival take our private transfer and check in to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for seven nights on room and breakfast basis. Upgrades to the Old Palace building available – call for a quote!

Day 2 - Tuesday 25th February – Tutankhamun and the Amarna influence

We take our private launch and cross the Nile to join our vehicle for the short ride to the Museum that is the Howard Carter House where we will also have a look at the replica of the tomb of Tutankhamun.  Then we visit the nobles tombs specifically the Tomb of Ramose, who was Vizier and Governor of Thebes  before and after the Amarna revolution enabling us to compare the different art forms. We also see the tombs of Userhat and Khaemhat. A visit to Qurnet Murai to enter the tomb of Amenhotep-Huy the Viceroy of Kush during the reign of Tutankhamun, which features several painted images of the boy king. We have lunch at our local restaurant before heading to the Western Valley of the Kings with entry to the Tomb of Ay. Finally a visit to Medinet Habu. (BL)

Day 3 - Wednesday 26th February – The Valley of the Kings

We cross the Nile once again and this time we concentrate on the Valley of the Kings. Your ticket allows entry to three tombs of those open on the day. You will also be able to buy extra tickets for the tombs of Seti I and Tutankhamun. However, the highlight will be our two special permits for private entry to two closed tombs.  First we will enter the tomb of Hatshepsut, KV20. Excavated by Howard Carter in 1903/4 no real work has been carried out since. Entry to this tomb is not suitable for anyone suffering from claustrophobia or anyone with any mobility issues as it entails climbing on loose scree. We also have entry to the first fully decrorated tomb on the Valley of Kings, the Tomb of Thutmose III, KV34 and learn of his relationship to Hatshepsut.  After a very long and full morning we stop for lunch at our local restaurant and then return to the hotel. The rest of the day is free time. (BL)

Day 4 - Thursday 27th February – Hatshepsut and Senenmut

This morning, we devote time to the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut with a visit to her imposing temple set into the Theban Hills at Deir el-Bahri. We also have an exciting special permit with private entry to the tomb of Hatshepsut’s chief Steward, Senenmut with its astronomical ceiling. Senenmut is among the best know officials of any period and was responsible for some of the great achievements of her reign including the erection of obelisks, and design of her extraordinary temple. He also seems never to have married and is rumoured to have been closer to Hatshepsut than the official records would suggest… We return to our hotel for a lunch break. Later we will visit both Luxor Temple and Luxor Museum. (B)

Day 5 - Friday 28th February – Ramesses and Seti at Abydos

Today we travel with our overnight bags to Abydos. On arrival we will have lunch at the House of Life Hotel our lodgings for the night. After our break we visit the Temple of Seti I with plenty of time to view some of the most stunning reliefs to be found in all of Egypt. We also view the Osireion before walking across the desert sands to enter the Temple of Ramesses II where new excavations are underway. We check in to our hotel and enjoy an evening meal. (BLD)

Day 6 - Saturday 1st March – Ramesses and Seti in Thebes

After breakfast we head back to Luxor. On arrival we will head back to our local restaurant for lunch. Then we will visit the Theban temples of Seti and Ramesses. These two kings, father and son, were among the greatest builders and conquerors in Egyptian history. Here we will have the chance to compare their Theban temples, which were spiritually connected to their tombs in the Valley of Kings, with the cenotaphs (?) they built at Abydos, and to witness the importance each gave to the recording of their great military victories. (BL)

Day 7 - Sunday 2nd March Karnak – the Chronology

Today an in-depth tour of the great Temple of Karnak. We will look at the temple in a slightly different way: we will attempt to trace the development,of the temple from the time of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut, to Amenhotep III, Sety and Ramesses, and finally the later New Kingdom kings Sety II and Ramesses III, and the Libyan and Kushite kings. This will be a long visit and we will take a break in the café by the sacred lake halfway through our tour. We return to the hotel early afternoon and the rest of the day is free. (B)

Day 8 - Monday 3rd March – Home

We take our private transfer to Luxor Airport for our direct flight to London arriving early afternoon. (B)

Egyptologist, Chris Naunton has appeared in numerous television documentaries, most notably as the presenter of ‘ Flinders Petrie: The Man who Discovered Egypt’ (BBC4) and ‘Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Burnt Mummy’ (Ch 4) and Egypt’s Lost Pyramid (Ch 4). He was CEO of the EES from 2012 -16 and President of the International Association of Egyptologists from 2015-19. He is now Director of the Robert Anderson Trust. His books; ‘Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt’, and ‘Egyptologists’ Notebooks’ are now on sale.

B = Breakfast BL = Breakfast and Lunch BD = Breakfast and Dinner BLD = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Temples, Tombs and Ancient Lives

  • Tour Code: AWTT240225
  • Departing: 24th February 2025
  • Returning: 3rd March 2025
  • Cost Per Person: £4260
  • Single Supplement: £680

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  • Land Only Discount: £400

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