This is the story of two sound engineers who, unbeknownst to each other, shared a common passion – Ancient Egypt.
Gavin Athienides, current Vice-chairman of the Ancient Egyptian Society in Johannesburg, runs his own successful studio in Johannesburg. He had been working on the production of various audiobooks, however, the production had ground to a halt over copyright issues, and Gavin, out of sheer frustration, decided the best way forward was to write his own book. Inspired by the stories of the Hardy Boys’ adventures in Egypt, that he had loved as a child, Gavin found himself in the Land of the Pharaohs looking for subject matter and a plot for his own children’s book, ‘The Adventures of Tee, Timothy and Tiger’. Once there the bug bit, and he has subsequently revisited Egypt many times, concentrating on the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
Meanwhile not many streets away Ted Loukes was busy running his own successful studio. When not at work, Ted is an independent researcher in the field of ancient civilisations. His particular fascination with Ancient Egypt began in 1972 with a visit to the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition, held at the British Museum. In late 2011 he had begun writing a blog on mysteries, both ancient and modern, and came across the story of Moses and his links to a renegade Pharaoh. Further investigation led to a two-and-a-half-year project, incorporating several field trips to Egypt, notably to Luxor, with its rich history of what is known as the New Kingdom, that culminated in his non-fiction work ‘Moses and Akhenaten: Brothers in Alms’
It was only in early 2015 that Gavin and Ted finally met and began sharing their passion for Ancient Egypt. Many discussions about returning to Egypt followed that meeting, until 2018 when the decision was made that what was missing were tours that concentrated on specific moments in Ancient Egyptian history, as opposed to the general package deals that tried to include all the three and a half thousand years that make up the Ancient Egyptian timeline. With their extensive knowledge and research carried out in and around Luxor, the time of Rameses the Great, Tutankhamun and Nefertiti, what is called the New Kingdom, was the obvious choice, and so was born GnT Tours.