The excavations that led to the find are located between two temples.
The Egyptian government announced on Thursday the discovery under the sand in monumental Luxor of a large city about 3,000 years old that was lost and in good condition.
It is the “largest administrative and industrial settlement of the time of the Egyptian Empire on the west bank of Luxor,” located on the Nile, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement, finding it “the largest city ever. called. found in Egypt ”.
The city, he added, was called “The Ascent of Aten” and was active during the reign of pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty, such as Amenhotep III or Tutankamaón.
“The city streets are lined with houses, with stones in their walls up to three meters high,” said famous archaeologist Zahi Hawas, who is in charge of the mission responsible for the find.
Hawas explained that “many foreign missions had searched for this city and failed to find it” and, according to the Ministry of Antiquities, “the archaeological layers have remained intact for thousands of years, as if their former inhabitants had left them yesterday.”
Good storage conditions
The town, as the ministry states, is “in good state of conservation, with its walls nearing completion and rooms full of objects of everyday life,” which makes the settlement dated.
“The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archaeological discovery since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb,” said Betsy Brian, professor of Egyptology at John Hopkins University of America, quoted in the statement.
According to this archaeologist, “The Rise of Aten” will not only take a look at the life of the ancient Egyptians at a time when “the empire was at its peak,” but also shed light on “some of the greatest mysteries.” of history: why Akhenaten and Nefertiti decided to move to Amarna ”, the region where a new imperial capital was built in the 16th century BC.
Finding an opportunity
The excavations that led to the find are located between two temples, one dedicated to Amenhotep III and another to Ramesses III, in Luxor, and had begun in September 2020 to try to locate Tutankhamun’s mortuary temple.
But within two weeks of its inception, the archaeological mission was in for a big surprise when adobe bricks began to appear everywhere and archaeologists began excavating the great city.
So far they have managed to excavate different parts of the city, where they have found a bakery, a large kitchen with ovens and ceramic pieces for food storage in which a large number of people had to work, as well as an administrative and residential area. .
The city was “surrounded by a zigzag wall, with a single entry point,” the statement said, leading archaeologists to believe it had a defensive function.
They also found a workshop with molds for the production of amulets and decorative objects and a room for the manufacture of stones used in the construction of temples bearing the seal bearing the name of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. (I)