Almost like in a movie, a 3,000-year old Egyptian city was discovered buried in the sands of the same lands that carry the world-famous pyramids of Giza. The discovery has also been described as the ‘most important archaeological finds’ since they discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, who happens to be the most famous Egyptian king who is better known as King Tut.
In early April, the well-known Egyptologist, Zahi Hawass, shared the discovery of the “Lost Golden City” near Luxor. He explains that the city, which is called Aten, was the biggest ancient city they had ever unearthed in Egypt. The excavation, which began in September of 2020, was uncovered within weeks of when the dig first began.
The city was found to date back to the time of King Amenhotep III, who ruled from 1391 to 1353 BC. He was also known as one of Africa’s northeastern country’s most powerful pharaohs. The city was then used afterwards by the other pharaohs like Ay and Tutankhamun, with Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb being discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter back in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings.
Professor of Egyptology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, U.S.A., Betsy Brian, explains, “The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun.” The excavators began near the Valley of Kings on the west bank of Luxor, which is located around 300 miles, or 500 kilometers, south of Cairo, which is the capital of Egypt.
She also shared that the city would “give us a rare glimpse into the life of the ancient Egyptians” during the time that the empire was at its richest.
Archaeologist Salina Ikram, who happens to lead the American University in Cairo’s Egyptology unit, also shares, “There’s no doubt about it; it really is a phenomenal find. It’s very much a snapshot in time – an Egyptian version of Pompeii.”
During the dig, the archaeologists came upon some of the largest and most valuable archaeological discoveries with finds like colored pottery, jewelry, scarab beetle amulets and incredible mud bricks that were embossed with the seals of Amenhotep III.
Dr. Hawass also said in his statement, “Within weeks, to the team’s great surprise, formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions. What they unearthed was the site of a large city in a good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life.”
Incredibly, seven months into the dig, more and more areas, or so-called neighborhoods, have since been discovered, such as a bakery, a residential area and even an administrative district.
Dr. Hawass also said, “Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it,” referring to a former antiquities minister. He also said that there is continuous archaeological work ongoing at the site, and the team “expect to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures.”
After years of political turbulence and heavy disruption to the country due to coronavirus and the pandemic, Egypt is now is attempting to revive their tourism sector by promoting their ancient heritage.
Just a few weeks ago, the world was privy to one of the most amazing sights as Egypt carried the remains of one of their ancient rulers across Cairo in a unprecedented procession. It consisted of 22 mummies including 18 kinds and four queens, being transported around 5-kilomteres away, from the neo-classical Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. In fact, Amenhotep II, as well as his wife, Quen Tiye, were among the over two dozen mummies that were transferred to their final destination.
The event, which was entitled ‘The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade’ featured the mummies in chronological order of their reigns, with other rulers included such Seqenenre Taa II of the 17th Dynasty, and Ramses IX of 12th Century BC.
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