Searching for missing tombs.. Come with me?

UPDATE 12 April 2017: The tour described below, departing 29 October 2017 has now sold out. However, a second tour is now planned for 6 – 19 March 2018 – for further details please see here (links below have also been changed).

I’ve been writing a book about so-called ‘missing tombs’ for a while now (and hoping to get it done in time for publication in Spring 2018 at the latest, by the way). So when my friends at Ancient World Tours (AWT) got in touch to ask if I’d like to take a group to Egypt and, if so, which sites I’d like to visit, going on the hunt for some of these tombs seemed like the obvious thing to do.


Field walking around KV 54 in the Valley of Kings. What more might yet be found in this most famous of ancient Egyptian cemeteries..? (photo courtesy of Stephen Cross)

Now, before anyone gets over-excited, we’re not going to go blazing in waving trowels around or thrusting shovels into the sand – sorry! – this is more about visiting the sites and examining some of the objects that tell the story of where some of these tombs – of Imhotep, Nefertiti, Cleopatra and others – might be.


Taposiris Magna, site of an ongoing project searching for the tomb of Cleopatra. Let me know if you spot anything…

We’ll be visiting pyramids, catacombs, the Egyptians’ most important place of pilgrimage (Abydos), the Valley of the Kings, and four different ancient Egyptian capital cities (Memphis [Giza and Saqqara], Amarna, Tanis and Alexandria). And in some cases we’ll be able to stand more or less on the spot where I think some of these tombs might be…


The Step Pyramid isn’t difficult to find(!), but might the tomb of its creator, Imhotep, also lie nearby somewhere?

Janet Shepherd and co at AWT have been hard at work planning the trip and figuring out the logistics, and I’m delighted to say the tour has now been advertised (and the first few places already taken). All the info you need is here.


The coffin discovered in KV 55 has raised more questions than it has answered. Who was it made for? For whom was it then repurposed? And which of the Amarna royals that didn’t end up it might yet be found elsewhere? 


The finest of the tombs in the catacombs of Kom es-Shoqafa, Alexandria, the city in which Alexander the Great and Cleopatra might both have been buried…

So, come along? It would be great to have you on board 🙂

More info here:


17 thoughts on “Searching for missing tombs.. Come with me?

  1. The exorbitant amount asked by AWT makes it impossible to accompany you…knowing how much things cost in Egypt today, even 5 star hotels, transportation and entrances, they collect a real fortune on this trip. Unless you charge them too much for the trip…and the presentation they make about you seems to be a presentation of a Hollywood star rather than that of a professional Egyptologist…maleesh…

    1. Dear Paula, I’m sorry you feel it necessary to post such a negative comment. I am not involved in the costing/pricing of trips like this. But please bear in mind that this tour is intended to offer more than your average visit to Egypt by taking guests to some rarely-visited places. You may not know that visiting sites which are not normally open to the public requires special permits, and that these are very expensive. This explains a significant part of the cost. This tour will not run unless we get a certain number of guests; AWT are acutely aware of this of course and aim to keep costs as low as possible so as to make trips like this one possible. It’s not in their interests to make the tours too expensive for people as they would put themselves out of business. And in fact AWT is not in the business of making money; if that were the case they would not specialise in trips to a country like Egypt for which demand is currently very low, as I’m sure you know. I’m sorry this blog post seems to have annoyed you, I hope you’ll be able to find something somewhere else on the internet that makes you a little happier 😉


    Hi Chris Great news! I’m keeping this one on my ‘to do’ list but it all depends on finances in the coming months. Living in hope. All the best Derek J

  3. medhar

    السلام عليكم
    bonjour docteur Chris, j’ai reçu votre é-mail concernant le projet de tombes disparus, je vous remercie beaucoup ,c’est une aventure archéologique et en même temps un recherche en Egypte, je vais travailler et terminer ce que j’ai commencé pour je serai un jour parmi cette équipe de découverte .
    je vous souhaite à vous et à votre équipe la réussite et le bonheur.merci beaucoup.bonne chance.

  4. souhila medhar

    merci beaucoup

    ________________________________ De : Chris Naunton Envoyé : jeudi 16 février 2017 14:22 À : Objet : [New post] Searching for missing tombs.. Come with me?

    chrisnaunton posted: “I’ve been writing a book about so-called ‘missing tombs’ for a while now (and hoping to get it done in time for publication in Spring 2018 at the latest, by the way). So when my friends at Ancient World Tours (AWT) got in touch to ask if I’d like to take “

  5. medhar

    السلام عليكم
    bonsoir docteur Chris,je vous souhaite nue bonne chance pour vitre livre, je voudrais seulement savoir une chose, vous avez dit que le livre est intitulé “tombes perdus” est ce qu’ils s’agit des
    les tombes de “Amhoteb”-“Cléopâtre”-et la mère de “Khéops” ou bien ces d’autres tombes que la plupart des spécialistes les ignorent ?
    et aussi je voudrais savoir après la publication de livre ou je pourrai avoir une copie et si bien il aura des copies en langue française? ce livre autant archéologue sera pour moi une documentation et une référence à étudier.
    je vous souhaite à vous et à votre équipe un bon voyage archéologique et -انشاء الله- si dieu veut il viendra un jour pour visiter l’Egypte avec d’autres archéologue dirigée par vous.
    merci et bonne chance.

  6. Howard Gutner

    Hi Chris —
    I’m very excited about this new tour. Amarna is in the top 3 on my so-called Bucket List. I’ve read almost every trade book that exists on the late 18th dynasty. So here’s my question, and only answer it if you happen to know the answer off the top of your head. I don’t expect you to seek it out for me. (!) I’m sure you have more important things to do.

    I have contacted AWT about travel insurance twice, and have as yet received no reply. March 2018 is 10 months away, and a lot could happen — to me, to Egypt, to the whole world. So I’d like to purchase travel insurance if something comes up. Do you know if AWT offers a policy for people who sign up for one of its tours? Again, don’t trouble yourself searching for an answer. I just thought you might know. I can always purchase insurance from another vendor if necessary.



    1. Dear Howard, thanks for your note. I’m delighted to know that the tour is of interest to you and hope you might be able to join us. Amarna is a wonderful place. I don’t *know* the answer to your question and would have to refer you to AWT for a definite answer but I think it is unlikely that they would offer insurance as part of the package – its more likely that they will leave guests to make their own arrangements. I travel enough myself that I generally have year-round worldwide insurance – it’s relatively inexpensive and good for peace of mind! I hope this is of help and hope perhaps to see you in Egypt at some point!

      1. Howard Gutner

        Thanks Chris. I’ll check it out. I definitely plan on signing up for the tour, and soon.


  7. I always thought from reading and watching stuff about tutankhamen that the coffin in KV55 was the coffin of Ankenaton who was the husband of Nefertiti and the father of tutankhamen I saw a documentary where they had his coffin and his mask and his remains on the coffin part of the Pharoah’s face was missing and the burial mask totally different looking than that of all the other pharoahs and Ankenaton’s remains were even more pitiful then that of tutankhamen for Ankenaton’s remains were that of a total skeleton which is still currently in the Cario Museum located in Egypt

  8. Leonard Rose

    Am excited about the tour to The Missing Tombs with you in March 2018. So excited am coming from Melbourne, Australia. Will make the 14 hour trip and be thrilled to be back in Egypt after 30 years. Looking forward to learning even more about the Amarna period and meeting others as equally keen on Ancient Egyptian History.

  9. Anne-Marie Pope

    Chris – Hello from Australia, I have booked my place on the Mar 18 tour and am very much looking forward to returning to Egypt. I have a MHist, with my studies largely focused on Ancient Egypt; several of the sites on the tour featured in my studies so to be able to see them first hand is going to be wonderful.

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