Lost, ‘golden era’ city unearthed in Egypt

Lost, ‘golden era’ city unearthed in Egypt”

They were taken aback when they began uncovering mud bricks everywhere they dug.

The report said they've uncovered a "large city in a good condition of preservation, with nearly complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life".

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, which dealt a severe blow to Egypt's tourism industry, the country is seeking to bring back visitors, in particular by promoting its ancient heritage.

Archaeologists have announced the discovery of an ancient royal city that lay buried under sand for centuries near Luxor in Upper Egypt, hailing it as one of the most significant archaeological finds for Egyptologists since Tutankhamun's tomb almost a century ago.

Betsy Brian, professor of egyptology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said the finding's importance is only second to the earth-shattering discovery of King Tut's tomb.

It's located close to a number of important ancient Egyptian monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon, the Madinat Habu Temple and the Ramesseum.

Historians hope that the discovery of this city will answer one of the enduring questions in Egyptian history about the establishment of a new capital, Amarna, by Amenhotep IV, also known as Akhenaten, the heretic pharaoh.

After seven months of excavations, several neighbourhoods have been uncovered, including a bakery complete with ovens and storage pottery, as well as administrative and residential districts.

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"The mission expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures", the statement added. The kitchen is large, so it likely catered to a large clientele, according to the statement.

Mudbricks, used in the construction of the houses and streets found by the excavation team, bore the seal of Amenhotep III, confirming the date of the find.

A zigzag fence - an architectural design used toward the end of the 18th Dynasty - walled off the area, allowing only one access point that led to the residential areas and internal corridors.

It has been described as the "lost golden city of Luxor".

The mission has also unearthed many tools used in spinning, weaving, and glass-making slag, Hawass added.

And an even more remarkable burial of a person found with arms outstretched to his side, and remains of a rope wrapped around his knees.

More recently, the team found a vessel holding about 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of dried or boiled meat.

"This valuable information not only gives us the names of two people that lived and worked in the city but confirmed that the city was active and the time of King Amenhotep III's co-regency with his son Akhenaten", the archaeologists said in the statement. Aten was different from other gods of the time, such as Ra, who were all worshipped in human form. It's also a mystery whether the city was repopulated when King Tut returned to Thebes and reopened it as a religious center, according to the statement. "The work will last at least 10 years, since we need to excavate the entire city, as well as the area of temples", Hawass said. And there's still a lot to excavate. "The inscription that found inside here says that this city was called: "The dazzling Aten", Hawass told reporters at the site. Excavations began in September 2020, the Guardian reported.

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