About

Hello! Chris Naunton here. I’m an Egyptologist, writer, broadcaster and public speaker.

I have a PhD in Egyptology and am currently writing a book with the provisional title Search for the Missing Tombs of Egypt for Thames & Hudson.

I do quite a bit of TV work (more here) and have several other projects on the go; with any luck most of them will eventually make their onto the ‘TV’ ‘Writing and Research’ and ‘Events’ pages here.

I also work with several not-for-profit organisations including the Robert Anderson Research Charitable Trust (RARCT) and International Association of Egyptologists (IAE) – more on this here.

I was also, until October 2016, Director (CEO) of the Egypt Exploration Society, a UK charity dedicated to exploring ancient Egyptian sites & monuments.

Any questions, just let me know. Thanks for reading 🙂

 

43 thoughts on “About

  1. Kevin Martin Pemrick

    Chris just watched your special on TUT on PBS and you were fantastic and the story compelling. Thanks so much. Keep up the good work.

  2. Naomi

    Dr Chris please please let the world know that all ancient eygtians were black
    Most pharaohs were black women who were goddess
    Let the world know the truth
    Once the truth is out the world will be a better place
    The bible book of Daniel states there exists a God in the heavens who is a revealer of all secrets

    1. Hi Naomi, I’m not sure you’re quite right! I get a lot of questions like this and am hoping to find time to write something to explain my thoughts but for now, I replied as follows to another similar question recently: The question of skin colour is certainly complex … The ancient Egyptians generally depicted themselves as having reddish-brown-coloured skin, and those of other cultures with different colour skins e.g. the Kushites a group of foreigners from the area to the south of Egypt in modern-day Sudan were depicted by the Egyptians as having had much darker brown skin. Ancient Egypt was certainly a multi-ethnic society, by the First Millennium BCE at the latest, but in any case ethnicity is not the only factor in determining skin colour. … There are numerous factors involved in making up any given individual’s cultural and ethnic identity and that this probably held true for the ancient Egyptians as now. So, I myself would usually be considered ‘White British’ according to the classifications most commonly in use here, but I would also consider myself to be a Londoner, English, European, Anglican Christian (by background and upbringing but a non-believer) with (probably) a bit of Celtic Scots and Irish in the mix, and probably a bit of Scandinavian going further back through my family history. Equally, Haremakhet, Chief Priest of Amun in Thebes in the early 7th Century BC was Kushite i.e. foreign by birth and probably had darker skin than your average Egyptian, but his name was Egyptian, he worshipped Egyptian gods, worked in an Egyptian temple, wrote his name in hieroglyphs and was buried according to Egyptian traditions close to the Valley of the Kings. I hope this helps!

  3. Beckie Drury

    Hi Chris 🙂 I’m a bit mad on ancient Egypt, particularly Tutankhamun. I recently saw a documentary (not one of yours) which proposed the theory that Tut’s tomb was used as a hiding place for a lot of Akhenaten’s treasures, purely to clear him out of Egypt after the changes he had made. Including the idea that some of the artefacts had been amended to make it look like they were made for Tut. What do you think of this?

    1. Hi Beckie, it’s very clear now that many of the things in Tut’s tomb were originally made for others including Nefertiti and possibly others. There was a very concerted effort to expunge Akhenaten’s name from the records and the destruction / repurposing of his burial equipment seems to have been part of this. Whether re-use for Tut was part of this or not isn’t clear but the availability of material a hurry – Tut died unexpectedly it seems – was probably a part of it. I hope that helps! Chris N PS Further reading of you’re interested: Reeves, ‘Akhenaten’ and Dodson ‘Amarna Sunset’ both available inexpensively online!

    1. hi Beckie, I contributed to a film about Cleopatra also for Channel 5 which has yet to be aired but I’ve got no transmission date yet – I’ll be sure to post the info as soon as I get it!

  4. Ernesia

    Hi Chris – I hope you’ve not already answered this question! Do you know when/if the possible hidden chambers behind King Tuts’ tumb, will be excavated? Also – are you aware of any upcoming “extensive” digs in the Valley of The Kings?

    1. No plans for excavation yet; I gather the next step will be a second radar survey to confirm the results of the first. I understand negotiations may be underway to undertake a some tests that would penetrate the surface of the wall but obviously the Ministry of Antiquities could not consider anything even minimally destructive without being absolutely sure the justification is there. Meanwhile, there might be something to be gained from keeping the suspense and excitement levels up 🙂

  5. Charlie

    Hi Chris !! My question is What did you study at university? I was thinking of going to study ancient history ( undergraduate degree) after my gap year but I’m a bit nervous because people are telling me that there is an extensive amount of reading involved and as someone who struggles with literacy I’m kind of second guessing myself. I love everything to do with history and would love to study it at uni but I don’t know if I’m throwing myself into the deep end. What advice would you have for someone interested in studying ancient history and would you recommend it? Thanks for the help I really appreciate it!!!

    1. Hi Charlie,

      I studied Ancient History and Archaeology (AHA) at the University Birmingham for my undergraduate degree and then went on to do an MPhil and PhD in Egyptology. I don’t know that there is more reading to do in subjects like these than you would need to do for any other arts / humanities degree so I hope this wouldn’t put you off! I would certainly recommend studying AHA etc at degree level if you have a passion for it – I think you’d find it very rewarding. The only note of caution would be that there are very few jobs in the field but that’s not to say that a degree in the subject wouldn’t provide you with a wide range of transferable skills and that lost of graduates in the field don’t go on to be very successful in a wide variety of jobs. I’d say you should definitely investigate further and if you have any question about how your literacy might affect things you should raise this with the admissions tutor at the universities you are interested in. I can definitely recommend Birmingham (but I am biased… http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk/mentor/christopher-naunton/)! Chris N

      1. Charlie

        Thank you very much Chris for replying!!! I really appreciate it!!!! And funny enough, I’m from Ireland but was looking at university’s in Birmingham as I will be relocating there in the summer!!

  6. Abigail

    Hi Chris Naunton! The other day I watched some programmes that I had recorded which you were involved in. I have been starting to think of what I would like to be when I am older. I would like to be an Egyptologist like you. 🙂 Thanks for inspiring me! Yours faithfully, Abigail (absterno1) 🙂

  7. Sarah Gregory

    Hi Chris

    I am a great admirer of your work. In the little spare time I have, I enjoy studying Egyptology and am hoping the complete the certificate in the future.

    Best regards
    Sarah

  8. Jocelyn

    Hello Chris, I have watch many programs that you have been envolved in I really enjoy Egyptian history I recently saw the secrets of egypts lost city was really interesting good job. Anyways my question is I saw another program suggesting that the bust of Nefertiti is a fake or that it might have not been found at the site it was said to be found at and that she didn’t even resemble the great beauty the busts portrays. I would like to know what are your thoughts on this subject?

    1. Hi Jocelyn, Being a mischievous sort, I like the idea that the Berlin bust of Nefertiti is a fake and I think this is worth thinking about. There is no piece quite like, and one of the reasons it’s so extraordinary is that the queen’s face has much a modern feel to it, which feels somewhat out of step with much of Egyptian sculpture particularly from this period. There certainly was something of a conspiracy around the discovery and the reasons it came to leave Egypt which would surely never have been allowed had the representatives of the Egyptian authorities really known what it was – anything of national significance was retained by the Egyptian Museum, Cairo at that time and this piece surely would have met that criterion. However, I understand recent analysis of the pigments on the surface of the bust suggest they are ancient which would seem to end the debate. It’s a very unusual piece but probably genuinely ancient!

      1. Jocelyn

        Yes there is a very modern look which led me to believe that possibly it could not be genuine. Fake or not its beautiful work. Has there been any other art besides this bust that capture Nefertiti likeness? I thought a lot of art or record of her were destroyed. Thanks for the reply.

  9. Mike

    Hi Chris. My name is Mike.
    I wanted to know what the Egyptians believed in tems of origins. Did they beliee in evolution?

  10. jayanti

    hi chris! greetings from india 🙂
    all of them have probably asked the question on tut’s basic life and death..i wanted to ask whether you believe in the curse given to the tomb….that of whosoever opens it…death will come to him/her….

    also are you planning to come to india…..i would request you to..please come here and unsolved the mysteries of the vast history of here’s culture……everyone is anxious to get them unsolved..and i find only you to open it..

    jayanti 🙂

    1. hi Jayanti! I’m afraid I don’t believe in the curse 🙂 It’s just coincidence I think that some terrible things seemed to the people involved shortly after the tomb was opened. Howard Carter was unaffected and although I have spent a lot of time in the tomb myself (even after dark…) I seem to be OK so far! I would LOVE to visit India one day!! If you know of any way for me to visit to give a talk or to investigate Indian archaeology I would be very pleased to hear about it! Best wishes, Chris

  11. Elizabeth Casey

    Just watching king tuts tomb the lost chambers so interesting love anything about egyptian archeology went to Egypt 10 years ago and visited the Cairo museum could of stayed there all day but were on a limited coach time loved it so amazing. X x

  12. sandro basile

    Hello Cris

    Thanks for the amazing work you do. i see documentary that you have been envolved. I love egyptians history and you give a lot of good knowledge in that programs, it feels wonderfull to see how a young man like you can bring more and more passion in that ancient history. greetings from zurich (ch).

  13. souhila medhar

    السلام عليكم
    bonjour,
    j’ai vu le filme documentaire de Toutankhamon; et vraiment c’est un chef-d’oeuvre.bonne continuation.

  14. souhila medhar

    السلام عليكم
    bonsoir,
    je voudrais seulement savoir pour réussir dans l’archéologie ,et participer à des fouilles dans le monde et réaliser mes rêves d’être une archéologue qui aide les autres archéologues pour réaliser leurs rêves, comment je peux faire?
    merci

    1. Dear Souhila, it is not easy to get involved in archaeological projects and usually one has simply to write to a lot of letters / e-mails to project directors asking if they have any places available (this is how I did when I was a student!). You should try to think about the skills that you have and why you might be useful to a project director – making sure your CV is in good shape is a good idea! In the UK the Council for British Archaeology offers advice on how to get involved: http://new.archaeologyuk.org/cba-volunteering/ I suggest you look for similar organisations in other countries in which you would like to work to see what’s available. Good luck!

      1. souhila medhar

        السلام عليكم
        bonsoir,
        merci beaucoup pou vos conseils ils m’ont remonter le morales, je vais faire ça, terminer inchalah ce que j’ai dans les mains(le sujets de ma recherche ) pour que je puisse être libre pour démarrer en bonne voie. inchalah je vais être à la hauteur et réaliser mes butes.merci beaucoup et bonne continuation.

  15. sjastro

    Hello Chris,

    Leaving aside Manetho’s history of Egypt which was probably written to satisfy Greek curiosity of the time, were the ancient Egyptians interested in recording their history?

    Apart from the king lists that existed, correct me if I am wrong, but it would appear an Egyptian Pharaoh in the New Kingdom knew little about his Old Kingdom counterparts.
    For example Thutmose’s IV Stele found at the foot of the Sphinx indicates that he was probably unaware of the identity of the Pharaoh represented by the Sphinx.

    In the late period Herodotus had to invent a story about the Pharaohs who built the pyramids at Giza, as it appears the Egyptians no longer knew their identities.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. I think the kinglists show clearly that the Egyptians were very aware of their own history. The relative accuracy of the 19th dynasty lists e.g. at Abydos is quite staggering when you consider how far distant in time the earliest kings were already by that point (almost 2,000 years!). Manetho and Herodotus would also have drawn on Egyptian sources – neither is as accurate as we might like them to have been but much of what they recorded had at least some basis in reality. Consider how much, in 2017, our records tell us of what was going on in our own countries 2,000+ years ago – the Egyptians’ records compare very well! Of course much detail will have been lost, but an incredible amount was retained. It was also commonplace for pharaohs to make reference to their ancestors and their achievements, and many were celebrated long after their own lifetimes. The phenomenon of archaising also shows that craftsmen e.g. in the Late Period must have been aware of, and indeed probably studied, much older monuments. So, were the Egyptians’ interested in recording their history – yes, I think they were, very much so!

      1. sjastro

        Thank you for your detailed response Chris.

        On a different subject I recently saw “Egyptian Vice”.
        I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the fact it seemed a bit over the top and had a sensationalist element about ti.

        Poor King Djer being singled out for all intents and purposes as a mass murderer of his subordinates when human sacrifice was a common activity with other 1st dynasty pharaohs seemed decidedly “unfair”, as were the specific characterizations made of other pharaohs in the program.

        Were these characterizations based on evidence or largely hyperbole?
        Could one really claim that Amenhotep II was a pure psychopath or Ramesses III a deviant?

        Kind Regards.

  16. Marc Dupraw

    Greetings,
    Just viewed a show on the Smithsonian network regarding the Tomb Of Tutankhamun, in which you were extensively interviewed. I have personally viewed Nefertiti’s Bust in Berlin, which peaked my interest in that particular episode. Very good show and now I’m very interested in reading your book. I look forward to it’s release.

    Where might I educate myself further on the progress of research of the tomb?
    And do you ever speak in the United Stares?

    Thank you.

    1. Dear Marc, thank you for your kind words! There is no single definitive source of news about the latest research in KV 62 but Al-Ahram (here) and Luxor Times (here) are both good sources of news on archaeology in Egypt generally. I have spoken in the US in the past; I have no plans to do so at present but if/when that changes I’ll post the details here and on social networks etc.

  17. David Glassco

    Chris,

    Please come to the US and speak. I’ve seen a few of your programs, and I’m hooked.
    I’m especially interested in information on Hatshepsut.
    Thanks,
    David G.

    1. Hi David, very kind of to suggest it! I would love to come to the US to speak and hope I’ll get the opportunity to do so soon. Of course if I do I’ll let you know! Best wishes, Chris

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