Archaeologists unearthed a 3,000-year-old “lost golden city” in Egypt. Located on the western bank of the city of Luxor, the recently discovered lost city has been described as being the most significant Egyptian find since King Tut’s tomb was found.
The lost city, which is called Aten, was actually found by accident as archaeologists were excavating a site between the temples of Kings Ramses III and Amenhotep III in hopes of finding the mortuary temple of King Tut when they instead found remnants of an ancient city.
In a statement provided by the Egyptian mission, they explained how the city was discovered, “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.” “The archaeological layers have [lain] untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday.” In fact, some of the houses have walls that measure almost 10 feet tall.
In addition to the houses, archaeologists discovered a bakery with a big kitchen that still had ovens and pottery. A workshop was unearthed with casting molds that would have been used for ornament and amulet production (perhaps for tombs and/or temples). They also uncovered a residential and administrative area that was fenced in with only one entrance/exit, leading experts to believe that it was used as a security measure.
As for the industrial areas, numerous tools used for weaving or spinning were found as well as glassmaking and metal leftovers. One of the most interesting items found was a vessel (it held two gallons of dried or boiled meat) with an inscription that read, “Year 37, dressed meat for the third Heb Sed festival from the slaughterhouse of the stockyard of Kha, made by the butcher luwy.”
A large cemetery and several tombs made from rocks were found. The graves of two cows or bulls were oddly discovered in a room in addition to a person who had his arms down to his sides and a rope tied around his knees. According to the statement, work is being conducted on the tombs and perhaps they’ll even find treasure in them.
Zahi Hawass, who is an Egyptian archaeologist and former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs and led the mission, noted how significant this discovery was, “Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it.”
It is believed that the city was founded by King Amenhotep III (the ninth king of Egypt’s 18th dynasty) who ruled the country between the years 1391 and 1352 BC. It was then later used by King Tut, followed by King Ay.
The archaeologists were able to date the city around 3,000 years old based on hieroglyphic inscriptions that were discovered on wine vessels, pottery, scarabs, rings, and mud bricks that contained seals with King Amenhotep III’s cartouche.
Additional excavations should reveal much more about this ancient “lost golden city”. (Pictures of the city and some of the items found can be seen here.)