- BBC World News
The discovery of a 3,000-year-old city that was lost in the sands of Egypt has been called one of the most important archaeological finds since the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Well-known Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced on Thursday the discovery of the “lost golden city” near Luxor.
Declared that it is the city largest of antiquity that has been discovered in Egypt.
Known as Aten, it was unearthed in September 2020, shortly after excavation began.
The city dates from the reign of Amenhotep III, one of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs, who ruled from 1391 to 1353 BC.
The city continued to be used by the pharaohs Ay and Tutankhamen, whose almost intact tomb was discovered in the Valley of the Kings by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.
“The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archaeological find since Tutankhamun’s tomb,” said Betsy Brian, professor of Egyptology at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA.
He explains that the city “could offer us an extraordinary look at the life of the ancient Egyptians” at a time when the empire was at its most prosperous.
“It’s a very important find,” agreed Peter Lacovara, the director of the United States-based Ancient Egyptian Archeology and Heritage Fund.
“It is a kind of Pompeii of Egypt and shows,” he told Reuters. And this “shows the critical need to preserve this area as an archaeological park,” added Lacovara, who has worked in the Malqata palace area for more than 20 years but did not participate in the excavations.
The excavation revealed a wealth of valuable archaeological finds, including jewelry, colored pottery, scarab amulets, and clay bricks with Amenhotep III seals.
The team began excavations on the west bank of Luxor, near the Valley of the Kings, about 500 km south of the capital Cairo.
“In a few weeks, to the great surprise of the team, the mud brick formations began to appear in all directions“Hawass said in a statement.
“What they unearthed was the site of a large city in good condition, with almost complete walls and rooms full of tools of everyday life.”
Now, seven months after the excavation began, several areas or neighborhoods have been discovered, including a bakery, an administrative district and a residential area.
“Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it,” says Hawass, who was Egypt’s minister of Antiquities.
He indicated that more archaeological work was being carried out at the site and that his team “hopes to discover intact tombs full of treasures “.
Egypt is trying to promote its ancestral heritage to reactivate its tourism sector, which has declined after years of political turmoil and the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, Egypt carried the remains of the country’s former rulers through Cairo in a historic procession.
The lavish spectacle included 22 mummies, 18 kings and four queens, transported from the neoclassical Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, about 5 km away.
Amenhotep III and his wife, Queen Tiye, were among the mummies moved to their new resting place.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.