THE MISSNG TOMBS with Chris Naunton

 

Day 1 – Tuesday 6th March 2018
We take our direct flight from Heathrow to Cairo and on arrival take our private transfer to the luxury Mena House Hotel located in the shadows of the Great Pyramids at Giza. We check in for two nights on room and breakfast basis in Garden View rooms. Pyramid View rooms are available at a supplement.

Day 2 – Giza
This morning we make the short journey to the plateau to view the Great Pyramids, causeways, mastaba tombs, the Sphinx and the Valley Temple. After a lunch break at the hotel we head in to the city to take a guided tour around the Egyptian Museum, where we will start the hunt for some of our 'missing tombs'. (B)

Day 3 – City of Alexander
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 the Mena House while on the road today. (BLD)

Day 4 – Taposiris Magna
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.  This includes a visit to the lovely Royal Jewellery Museum where treasures are displayed in the beautiful mansion built for Mohammed Ali’s granddaughter. (BL)

Day 5 – Ancient Alexandria
First, we head to the Roman Theatre at Kom el Dikka with its marble seating and ancient dwellings then to the Shatby Necropolis a private Ptolemaic cemetery dating to the 4th Century BC, the time of Cleopatra. Our last visit in the city will be to the National Museum and then we will head back to Cairo. We check in to the  Mena House Hotel for three more nights on room and breakfast basis.(B)

Day 6 – Tanis
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 Mena House as this will be a full day excursion. (BL)

Day 7 – Saqqara
A full day at 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 Unas pyramid, and the New Kingdom tombs including that of Tutankhamun’s wet nurse Maya. We include lunch at the Sakkara Palm Club. (BL)

Day 8 – To Middle Egypt
Our destination today is the town of Minya known as  the ‘Bride of Egypt’ where we have rooms at the Nefertiti Hotel on half board basis for the next two nights. Our archaeology treat will be a visit to the rock-cut tombs of Beni Hassan with their colourful reliefs depicting daily life from the Middle Kingdom. We have a lunch box from the Mena House today. (BLD)

Day 9 – Amarna
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. (BLD)

Day 10 – Mallawi
We drive south and make a stop in Mallawi allowing time for a visit to the newly opened Archaeological Museum. We also  make a rare visit to the governor’s tombs at Meir set  in a spectacular location in the cliffs high above the Nile Valley. We have lunch boxes again today as we continue our road trip south to Sohag. On arrival we check in to the M/S Nile Elite a floating Hotel for one night on half board basis. (BLD)

Day 11 – Mythical Abydos
To Abydos to view the finest reliefs in Egypt within the Temple of Seti I. We walk past the Osireion and 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 a local 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. (BL)

Day 12 – The West Bank
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, the Ptolemaic Temple and the ‘Great Pit’. 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 tombs of Pabasa and Ankhor, among the most imortant and beautiful of the group in which Chris has spent several years working. After a relaxing lunch at the Moon Valley Restaurant we head to Medinet Habu the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III and the Ramesseum. (BL)

Day 13 – West Bank II
Again we cross the Nile  and this time we head to the Valley of the Kings. We have three tickets for tombs 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.(B)

Day 14 – Monday 19th March 2018
After breakfast we take our private transfer to Luxor Airport for our direct flight to London arriving early afternoon. (B)

Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist and is currently writing a book on the 'Search for the Missing tombs of Egypt'. He 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' (Channel 4). He was CEO of the Egypt Exploration Society from 2012-16 and is currently President of the International Association of Egyptologists.

(B) = Breakfast (BL) = Breakfast and Lunch (BLD) = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

 

THE MISSING TOMBS with Chris Naunton

 

DEPARTURE DATE: Tuesday 6th March 2018

TOUR CODE: AWMT 060318

 

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