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:

28 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.

  10. Chris – Great Show on SBS Australia last night. Is the new museum open? Looking forward to meeting you at Heathrow on March 6th. Any point in bring a light-weight tripod for photography/4K Video?

    1. Dear Leonard, glad you enjoyed the film! It hasn’t been on in the UK yet – no broadcast date has been set as far as I know so perhaps you can let me know what happens when I see you! The Grand Egyptian Museum isn’t open yet; I gather the soft opening is ‘still scheduled’ for this year and building work seems to be progressing at a rapid pace but there’s a way to go yet… Tripod: you *might* find a use for it but a few considerations: light outdoors is generally good enough for stills without a tripod; indoors (i.e. museums, tombs) a special photography ticket must be bought, and I *think* there are restrictions on shooting video and using tripods (which is seen as a sign that you’re a pro which requires a different permit). AWT may be advise further but my gut feeling is that it might not be worth the hassle… I can petty much guarantee you’ll get good photos in any case!

      1. Thanks for that – I will leave the tripod at home. Enjoyed both parts of the film today. Lucky you to be able to see the Tut artifacts at such close range. Loved the discussion on how many of the finds were “borrowed” and particularly enjoyed the discussion on the Mask!

  11. Anne-Marie Pope

    HI Chris. Got back to Australia yesterday and I wanted to thank you formally for what was an awesome experience on the tour. Being able to visit & photograph sites that I have only read about was amazing. For anyone thinking about going on the next Missing Tombs tour in 2019, just do it!, you will not be disappointed.

    1. Dear Anne-Marie, glad to hear you got back safe and well! And it’s great to hear your thoughts on the trip and to know that you enjoyed it! It was great to have your expertise on Pyramid Texts and I always enjoyed our conversations. Thanks again and best wishes, perhaps I’ll see you on another tour one day in the future!

  12. Anne-Marie Pope

    Hello Chris, Thank you for your kind words re the Pyramid Texts. As I intend to keep travelling to Egypt we may well cross paths again. Take care.

  13. Daniel Alaniz

    Hello Chris, Just signed up to get information on the upcoming tours of Egypt. Since this will be my first time planning to travel to Egypt, I was wondering which of theses tours would you recommend would be beneficial for first timers? Really enjoy your documentary shows. Looking forward to get your book.

    1. Dear Daniel, of the tours I’m involved in, the most comprehensive will be the Missing Tombs’ tour. This takes in a number of very special out-of-the-way places but also some of the classic, most visited sites including the Egyptian Museum, Giza pyramids, Saqqara, Valley of Kings, and temple of Hatshepsut, and also allows time for independent visits to the Luxor and Karnak temples. The ‘Asasif Special’ concentrates on tombs in the Luxor area, and in particular some of the most spectacular from the Late Period, but it doesn’t cover e.g. the pyramids or Cairo Museum. OF the tours I’m not involved in, the ‘Grand Tour’ led by Dr Aidan Dodson ( would probably be very suitable – it seems very comprehensive. I hope you enjoy your first visit in any case! And thank you for your kind words about my TV work and book – hope you enjoy the latter when it arrives later this year!

      1. Daniel Alaniz

        Thank you Chris for taking the time to respond to my question. I will look into it and plan accordingly. To encourage me more, I will be going to the Tutankhamun Exhibition 2018 in Los Angeles next month since I live in California. Great opportunity to see all the wonders up close.

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