The discovery of the city is the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Archaeologists have uncovered the largest ancient city ever in Egypt. Dating back 3,000 years, the city was found buried under the ancient Egyptian capital of Luxor. The city has been named The Rise of Aten and dubbed the "lost golden city". It is also noted as the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun. The city was found under the sand on the western bank of Luxor, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. "It was the largest administrative and industrial settlement in the era of the Egyptian empire," said Hawass lead archaeologist Zahi Hawass in a statement, reported CNN. As per the statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the city dates back to the reign of King Amenhotep III, who ruled Egypt between 1391 and 1353 BCE.
To the astonishment of archaeologists, many items in the city were preserved as if they were left by the ancient residents just yesterday. They found the "city's streets flanked by houses," with intact walls up to 10 feet high and "rooms filled with tools of daily life" well-preserved. The archaeologists also found many other items such as rings, colored pottery vessels, casting molds to make amulets, pots used to carry meat, and tools for spinning, weaving, and metal and glass-making.
The team also found a large bakery, "complete with ovens and storage pottery," the size of which suggests it was used to cater to a "very large number of workers and employees." They also discovered the skeleton of a person who appeared to have been buried with their arms stretched out to the side and a rope wrapped around the knees. "The location and position of this skeleton are rather odd, and more investigations are in progress," read the statement. The archaeologists declared it to be a "remarkable burial."
Experts are hoping the city will reveal more details on the lives of Egyptians from that time. "The discovery of the Lost City not only will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the Ancient Egyptians at the time where the Empire was at his wealthiest but will help us shed light on one of history's greatest mystery: why did Akhenaten and Nefertiti decide to move to Amarna?" said Betsy Bryan, professor of Egyptology at Johns Hopkins University. Archaeologists were searching for a mortuary temple when they discovered the city in September, reported Smithsonian Magazine The city is also located close to other important ancient Egyptian monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon, the Madinat Habu Temple, and the Ramesseum.
“There’s no doubt about it; it really is a phenomenal find,” said Salima Ikram, an archaeologist who leads the American University in Cairo’s Egyptology unit, according to National Geographic. “It’s very much a snapshot in time—an Egyptian version of Pompeii.” The group of archeologists began excavation in September 2020 and unearthed most of the southern part of the city. The northern region is yet to be unearthed. In the southern part of the city, the group found a large cemetery, and tombs, which to those in the Valley of Kings. "Only further excavations of the area will reveal what truly happened 3500 years ago," read the group's statement.
The team deduced that the city was active during the reign of Amenhotep III's son, Akhenaten, after finding an inscription on a pot that dated back to 1337 BCE. Historians believe that a year after the pot was made, the city was abandoned with the capital being moved to Amarna, 250 miles to the north. The reasons for moving to Amarna remain unknown, according to the statement. Following Akhenaten's death, his son Tutankhamun made an effort to wipe out Akhenaten's capital, his art, his religion, and even his name, from history. It was the discovery of Amarna in the 18th century that brought to light the legacy of the Akhenaten.