The Missing Tombs with Dr Chris Naunton

Hatshepsut, Ancient World Tours, SELLING


DEPARTING 8th October 2019

This popular tour offers the chance to visit many of the sites featured in Chris Naunton’s new 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 in depth visits to the Giza Plateau, Saqqara and Tanis, the Delta’s most impressive site. We journey to Alexandria to explore this historic city on the Mediterranean Coast where we visit Taposiris Magna. We travel through Middle Egypt, viewing the colourful tombs at Beni Hassan, the Fraser Tombs and the city of Akhenaten and Nefertiti at Tel el Amarna. On to Abydos where we see the most wonderful reliefs in Egypt on the walls of Seti I Temple.  We also enter the re-excavated Tomb of Senusret III set 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, the West Valley, Deir el Medina, the Ramesseum, Medinet Habu and Hatshepsut’s Temple.

A real bonus will be the AWT 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.

Seti I Temple, Abydos, Ancient World Tours
Seti I Temple, Abydos

Day 1 - Tuesday 8th October 2019

We take our direct flight from Heathrow to Cairo and on arrival take our private transfer to the luxury Sheraton Cairo Hotel. We check in for two nights on room and breakfast basis.

Day 2 - Pyramids of the Giza Plateau b

This morning we drive to the Giza Plateau to view the Great Pyramids, causeways, mastaba tombs, the Sphinx and the Valley Temple. Time to enter a pyramid for those who wish. We return to our hotel early afternoon, and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 3 - To the City of Alexander bld

After an early breakfast we drive to the lovely coastal city of Alexandria. Time to 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. On to the Serapeum, centre of worship to Serapis with time to see the famous ‘Pompey’s Pillar’ before we check in to the historic Cecil Hotel on the Corniche, which overlooks the ancient harbour and Ptolemaic royal quarter, and possible location of the mausoleum of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. We have two nights at this lovely hotel on half board basis. We have a lunch box from our hotel while on the road today.

Day 4 - Taposiris Magna bd

A rare treat as we travel along the Mediterranean coast road 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. After a lunch break at our hotel we continue exploring the city of Alexander. We visit the Alexandria Museum where treasures of all periods are displayed.

Day 5 - Ancient Alexandria b

First, we head to the Roman Theatre at Kom el Dikka with its marble seating and ancient dwellings and then to the Shatby Necropolis, a private Ptolemaic cemetery dating to the 4th Century BC, the time of Cleopatra. This afternoon we will head back to Cairo where we check in to the Sheraton Cairo Hotel for three more nights on room and breakfast basis.

Day 6 - Saqqara bl

This morning we visit 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 Enclosure, the Unas Pyramid, the tomb of Tutankhamun’s wet nurse Maya, and the Serapeum. We have lunch at The Sakkara Palm Club before we return to the hotel. Later we have arranged an evening visit to Cairo Museum where we will view some of the finds relating to our ‘Missing Tombs’.

Day 7 - Tanis bl

We travel in to the Eastern Delta for a visit to the impressive site of Tanis near the village of San el Hagar. This city dating back to the 21st Dynasty was once the northern capital of Egypt and is the site of the tombs of Psusennes II and Osorkon II. We travel with lunch boxes from the hotel as this will be a full day excursion.

Day 8 - To Middle Egypt bld

Our destination today is the town of Minya known as the ‘Bride of Egypt’ where we have rooms at the simple Nefertiti Hotel on half board basis for the next two nights. We have a lunch box from the Sheraton Cairo Hotel today.

Day 9 - Amarna bld

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.

Day 10 - Beni Hassan bld

Our archaeology treat today will be a visit to the rock-cut tombs of Beni Hassan with their colourful reliefs depicting daily life from the Middle Kingdom. We also make a rare visit to the VI Dynasty rock-cut Fraser Tombs. 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.

Day 11 - Mythical Abydos bl

In Abydos we view the finest reliefs in Egypt within the Temple of Seti I. We view the Osireion and walk across the desert sands to the Temple of Ramesses II where we see some fine reliefs of the Battle of Kadesh on the outer walls and colourful painted scenes inside the temple. However, the highlight of the 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 three nights on room and breakfast basis.

Day 12 - West Bank of Luxor bl

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 tombs of the workers and the Ptolemaic Temple nearby. Then to Hatshepsut’s Temple at Deir el Bahri to view the Punt Reliefs, the colonnades and the Upper Terrace. Next, we visit the Asasif tomb of Pabasa, among the most important and beautiful of the group in which Chris has spent several years working. After a relaxing lunch at a local Restaurant we head to Medinet Habu, the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, and finally the Ramesseum.

Day 13 - The Valley of The Kings b

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. Next we visit the quieter West Valley where we will enter the tomb of Ay. We return to the hotel at lunchtime and the rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps take a walk to Luxor Temple or the Museum or take a taxi to Karnak.

Day 14 - Monday 21st October 2019 b

After breakfast we take our private transfer to Luxor Airport for our direct flight to London, arriving early afternoon.

Expert: 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). He was CEO of the EES from 2012 -16 and is currently President of the International Association of Egyptologists. His book; ‘Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt’, is now on sale

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

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