CAIRO – On Thursday archaeologists welcomed the discovery of the « largest » ancient city in Egypt, which has been buried under sand for millennia. According to experts, this was one of the most important finds since Tutankhamun’s tomb was uncovered.
The famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the « lost golden city » and said the site was exposed near Luxor, home of the legendary Valley of the Kings.
« The Egyptian mission under Dr. Zahi Hawass found the city that was lost under the sand, » the archaeological team said in a statement.
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« The city is 3,000 years old, dates back to the reign of Amenhotep III. And was still used by Tutankhamun and Ay, » the statement added.
Betsy Bryan, professor of Egyptian art and archeology at Johns Hopkins University, said the find was the « second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun, » the team said.
Pieces of jewelry such as rings were combined with colored ceramic vessels, amulets of scarab beetles and adobe bricks with seals from Amenhotep III. Unearthed.
« Many foreign missions have searched for this city and never found it, » said Hawass, a former minister for antiquities.
The team began excavating between the temples of Ramses III and Amenhotep III near Luxor, about 500 kilometers south of the capital Cairo, in September 2020.
« Within a few weeks, to the great surprise of the team, adobe formations appeared in all directions, » the statement said.
« What they discovered was the location of a large city in good state of preservation, with almost complete walls and rooms full of everyday tools. »
After seven months of excavation, several parts of the city were uncovered, including a bakery with ovens and Storage pottery and administrative and residential areas.
Amenophis III. Inherited an empire that stretched from the Euphrates to Sudan, archaeologists say, and died around 1354 B.C. He ruled for nearly four decades, a reign known for its opulence and the size of its monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon – two massive stone statues near Luxor that represent him and his wife.
« The archaeological layers have remained untouched for thousands of years and were left behind by the ancient residents as they were yesterday, » says the Team statement.
Bryan said the city « will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the ancient Egyptians at the time when the empire was richest. »
The team was optimistic that more important finds would be revealed, and stated that they had discovered groups of tombs accessed via « stairs carved into the rock, » a construction similar to that in the Valley of the Kings.
After years of political instability together In connection with a popular uprising in 2011 that severely hit Egypt’s main tourism sector, the country is trying to bring visitors back, particularly by promoting its ancient heritage.
Last week, Egypt transported the mummified remains of 18 ancient kings and four queens through Cairo from the legendary Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, a procession known as the « Golden Parade of the Pharaohs ».
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