Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt

My first book, Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt was published by Thames & Hudson in October 2018.

It’s available via in the UK or (US), or, if giant international corporations aren’t your thing, from your local independent bookshop via Bookshop or Hive in the UK, or Bookshop in North America. In addition, a Russian-language version is available via MANN, IVANOV and FERBER here.

Lost Tombs Covers COMPOSITE 200dpi

Egypt boasts some of the most spectacular ancient ruins in the world, scattered across the entire country. Tombs remain a central part of the continuing allure of ancient Egypt; over the past two centuries, archaeologists have unearthed the burials of some of Egypt’s celebrated pharaohs, from the chambers deep within the famed pyramids at Giza to the tombs hidden away in the rocky hills of the Valley of the Kings. And yet, there is much still to find.

Despite the efforts of generations of Egyptologists, who have scoured the royal cemeteries of the pharaonic era, many of the most intriguing and notorious individuals remain unaccounted for. Where are Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, rulers of the Hellenistic age, both said by the historians of the Greek and Roman empires to have been buried in Egypt?

In this gripping account, Chris Naunton describes the quest for these and other great ‘missing’ tombs and presents the key moments of discovery that have yielded astonishing finds and created the archetypal image of the archaeologist poised at the threshold of a tomb left untouched for millennia. He skilfully unravels the tangled threads surrounding the burials of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten and his son Tutankhamun, and coolly assesses whether the boy-king’s celebrated tomb might still hold incredible secrets. The Valley of the Kings almost certainly guards hidden treasures. Could other such tombs lie undiscovered? Amazing finds of unsuspected tombs continue to occur throughout Egypt, making headlines worldwide, and renewing the hope that some of these mysteries might yet be solved.


I got to talk about the about the book for several podcasts including Dan’s Snow’s History Hit, Simon Mayo’s Books of the Year and History Extra.

With Simon Mayo following an interview for his ‘Books of the Year’ podcast – listen here.


‘Chris Naunton is my favourite Egyptologist. He makes the search for the lost tombs of Egypt as exciting as a novel’
Dan Snow, historian and author

‘An absolutely essential book for those of us captivated by ancient Egypt’s enduring stories, and the modern quest to uncover its remaining secrets. Chris Naunton brilliantly walks the line between scholar and storyteller, balancing his deep knowledge with that tantalizing call to adventure which will keep you spellbound’
Dallas Campbell, broadcaster and author

‘A joyous book that has at its heart a love for ancient Egyptian history and a desire to share that with people … Naunton balances between popular narratives and current research to provide a thoroughly enjoyable book’
Journal of History and Cultures

‘A highly readable narrative and well-chosen images. There is much to recommend here’
BBC History Magazine

‘Tantalising … gorgeously illustrated’

“[An] insightful, informative, and beautifully illustrated overview of archaeologists’ quests to find the tombs of some of the most famous individuals of the ancient world―Imhotep, Nefertiti, Cleopatra, and the Macedonian leader Alexander the Great foremost among them―that so far have eluded discovery. Along with chronicling expeditions, Naunton provides colorful biographies of these major historical figures and the world they inhabited… An authoritative guide leads an illuminating journey into the distant past.”
Kirkus Reviews

“With the lure of ancient celebrities, Naunton beckons readers to Egyptology, and with abundant photographs and chronological guidance, he masterfully succeeds.”

“Naunton succeeds in his goal to get readers ‘excited by the possibility that there might be such extraordinary surprises yet to come.’ … Recommended for anyone interested in ancient Egyptian civilization or the history of Egyptology.”
Library Journal

More readers’ reviews are available via, and Goodreads. It’s great to know how the book has been received and I’m very grateful to everyone who has left a review or rating at any of the above sites. Thank you!