The Missing Tombs with Dr Chris Naunton


DEPARTING 14th November 2023

This popular tour offers the chance to visit many of the sites featured in Chris Naunton’s book: ‘Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt’. We visit many familiar sites that are still to reveal their secrets and take time to explore some of the lesser known and more remote areas still being excavated

Private entry to the Tomb of Senusret III at Abydos.

Private entry to the site of Taposiris Magna, the possible burial site of Cleopatra.

Private entry to KV55 in the Kings’ Valley.

Taposiris Magna, Ancient World Tours, SELLING
Taposiris Magna

We begin in Cairo with a visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum, the Giza Plateau, Saqqara and Dahshur. We journey to Alexandria to explore this historic city on the Mediterranean Coast where we visit Taposiris Magna and Rosetta. We travel through Middle Egypt, viewing the colourful tombs at Beni Hassan, the Old and New Kingdom Tombs at Meir and the city of Akhenaten and Nefertiti at Tel el Amarna.

In Abydos we find some of the most wonderful reliefs in Egypt on the walls of Seti I Temple and enter the re-excavated Tomb of Senusret III at the edge of the desert in ‘Anubis Mountain’

On arrival in Luxor we have visits relevant to our tour theme, these include the Kings’ Valley, Qurnet Murai Tombs, Deir el Medina and Medinet Habu. We also have an in-depth tour of Karnak including the Mut Temple.

A real bonus will be our private permit to enter KV55 in the Kings’ Valley. Here we learn the mysterious history of this Amarna period tomb.

Staying at first-class and local hotels, Chris will give informal talks along the way, revealing his thoughts on the intriguing sites we visit and the treasures still to be found.

Day 1 - Tuesday 14th November 2023

We take our direct flight from Heathrow to Cairo and on arrival take our private transfer to the 5-star Steigenberger Hotel. We check in for six nights on room and breakfast basis.

Day 2 - Wednesday 15th November - Grand Egyptian Museum

We begin our adventure with a visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum. Plenty of time to view the galleries at leisure in this wonderful new Museum. You can chose to stay on at the museum for the afternoon or for those who wish we offer an optional trip to the Giza Plateau to view the Great Pyramids, the great Sphinx and the Valley Temple. Tonight we plan a meeting to discuss the journey ahead and look at the history of excavation at Saqqara and the search for Imhotep. (B)

Day 3 - Thursday 16th November - Saqqara

We have a full day exploration of Saqqara where Chris will explain some of his theories on this vast complex, and why it yet conceals the tomb of the architect of the Step Pyramid. We visit the Imhotep Museum, the Step Pyramid, including entry, the Unas Pyramid, the tomb of Tutankhamun’s wet nurse Maya, and the Serapeum. We have a break for a refreshing lunch at the Sakkara Palm Club. This evening Chris will give a talk on the history of Alexandria and thoughts on the lost tomb of Cleopatra. (BL)

Day 4 - Friday 17th November - To Alexandria

After an early breakfast we drive to the lovely coastal city of Alexandria. Our first stop will be the ancient port of Rosetta. We will explore the fort of Qaitbey and some of the Ottoman style houses in the town. We travel with a lunchbox from the Steigenberger Hotel today. Late afternoon, we check in to the 5-star deluxe Helnan Palestine Hotel close to the famous ‘Montaza Royal Palace’ one of Alexandria’s famous landmarks. As we are keeping our rooms at the Steigenberger Hotel in Cairo for the night we are away, you will only need to travel with an overnight bag. (BL)

Day 5 - Saturday 18th November - Taposiris Magna

A rare treat as we drive along the Mediterranean coast to the ancient city of Abu Sir known by its Roman name as Taposiris Magna. We have a special AWT private permit to explore the excavations looking for the lost tombs, including that of Cleopatra herself, at this fascinating site. Next, we visit the Graeco-Roman catacombs at Kom el Shuqafa to get a feel for the kind of tombs that were being created in the time of the Ptolemies and Cleopatra. We take a break at a local restaurant where you will be able to get refreshments and use the facilities before we start our journey back to the Steigenberger Hotel in Cairo. (B)

Day 6 - Sunday 19th November - Dahshur

This morning we drive to Dahshur to enter the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid. We head back to the Sakkara Palm Club for a relaxing lunch. Next, we visit the Open Air Museum at Memphis where we find the colossal fallen statue of Ramesses the Great. (BL)

Day 7 - Monday 20th November - Beni Hassan

Our destination today is the town of Minya known as the ‘Bride of Egypt’ where we have rooms at the Nefertiti Hotel on half board basis for the next two nights. Our archaeology treat will be a visit to the rock-cut tombs of Beni Hassan with their colourful reliefs depicting daily life from the Middle Kingdom. We have a lunch box from our hotel today. After our evening meal Chris will give a talk on Amarna and the history of EES work at the site. (BLD)

Day 8 - Tuesday 21st November - Amarna

A whole day at Amarna to explore the site and visit all the most important areas including the Royal Tomb of Ahkenaten, the Southern and Northern Tombs, the Central City, main palaces and the Great Temple of the Aten. We have a lunch box from our hotel and will picnic at the Amarna Rest House where we can buy hot and cold drinks and use the facilities. This evening our meeting will focus on the exciting visits planned for the next two days. (BLD)

Day 9 - Wednesday 22nd November - Meir Tombs

We drive south and head to the rarely visited rock-cut Governors’ tombs at Meir, set in a spectacular location, in the cliffs high above the Nile Valley. We have lunch boxes again today as we continue our road trip south to Abydos. On arrival we check in to the House of Life Hotel for one night on half board basis. (BLD)

Day 10 - Thursday 23rd November - Abydos

In Abydos we view some of the finest reliefs in Egypt within the Temple of Seti I. We walk past the Osireion and across the desert sands to the Temple of Ramesses II where we see the latest excavations and fine reliefs of the Battle of Kadesh on the outer walls and colourful painted scenes inside the temple. The highlight of our visit will surely be the special AWT private permit to enter the hidden tomb of Senusret III. The tomb’s location making use of the desert cliffs known as ‘Anubis Mountain’ is still being researched by Joseph Wegner and his team from the Penn Museum. Chris will have all the latest news on this fascinating site. We have lunch at our hotel before continuing to Luxor. On arrival we check in to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, for four nights on room and breakfast basis. (BL)

Day 11 - Friday 24th November - The Temple of Amun

This morning we head to Karnak for an in-depth guided tour, including time in the Open Air Museum. We return to the hotel on the coach for free time over the lunch break. Later we visit Luxor Museum. (B)

Day 12 - Saturday 25th November - The West Bank

We take our private launch to the West Bank to join our vehicle for the day and head straight to the village of Deir el Medina to look at the homes and private tombs of the workmen who built the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. A look at the Ptolemaic Temple and the ‘Great Pit’ nearby. Next, to Medinet Habu the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III. After a relaxing lunch at a local restaurant we head to Qurnet Murai to enter the tomb of Amenhotep called Huy, Viceroy of Kush dating from the reign of Tutankhamun. We can also enter the smaller tombs of Amenemonet and Amenemhab. This evening Chris will give his final lecture talking about our time in Ancient Thebes. (BL)

Day 13 - Sunday 26th November - Valley of the Kings

Again we cross the Nile, and this time we head to the Valley of the Kings. We have three tickets for tombs of those open on the day, plus we also have a special AWT private permit for entry to the intriguing tomb KV55. Chris will discuss the latest theories on the burial of the Amarna royals, and the role played by tomb 55 in the tangled story of this short but endlessly intriguing period of history. We take lunch at a local restaurant and the rest of the day is at leisure. (BL)

Day 14 - Monday 27th November 2023

After breakfast 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

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