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Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt

Chris Naunton


A compelling insight into the search for ancient Egypt's lost tombs, providing a completely up-to-date inside story of all the latest theories and discoveries

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Also available as an eBook from Amazon


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.

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

'Tantalising … gorgeously illustrated'

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Further Details


Format: Hardback

Size: 23.4 x 15.3 cm

Extent: 304 pp

Illustrations: 107

Publication date: 11 October 2018

ISBN: 9780500051993

Contents List

Introduction • 1. Imhotep: The man who became a god • 2. Visible to invisible: Amenhotep I and the transition to the Valley of the Kings • 3. The Enduring Fascination: Where are the missing Amarna royals? • 4. Herihor: A Tomb to ‘make Tutankhamun look like Woolworths’? • 5. A kingdom divided: The royal tombs of the Third Intermediate Period • 6. Buried three times in Egypt: The tombs of Alexander the Great • 7. The lost tomb of Cleopatra: A mausoleum lost underwater or a secret burial awaiting discovery? • Final Thoughts

About the Author

Dr Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist, writer and broadcaster. An expert on Egypt in the first millennium BC and the history of Egyptology, he has published extensively on both subjects, and has presented numerous related television documentaries, including Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Burnt Mummy (Channel 4, 2013) and King Tut’s Tomb: The Hidden Chamber (Channel 5, 2016). He worked for many years at the Egypt Exploration Society, London, acting as its Director between 2012 and 2016. In 2015 he was elected President of the International Association of Egyptologists and in 2016 he became Director of the Robert Anderson Trust, a charity that provides support for young scholars visiting London to further their studies and research.