Cairo, Apr 9 (EFE).- Egypt has announced the discovery of a 3,000 year-old city in present-day Luxor, which was lost and remains in a good state of preservation.
The ‘Lost City’ has been described as the “largest administrative and industrial settlement in the era of the Egyptian empire on the western bank of Luxor,” the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement released on Thursday, calling the discovery “the largest city ever found in Egypt”.
The city, known as “Aten”, was active during the reigns of pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt, such as Amenhotep III or Tutankhamun.
“The city’s streets are flanked by houses … some of their walls are up to three metres high,” said the famous archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who is in charge of the mission responsible for the discovery.
Hawass explained that “many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it.”
According to the Ministry of Antiquities, “the archaeological layers have remained intact for thousands of years as if the ancient residents had left them yesterday.”
The remains are “in a good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life”, which, according to the Ministry, have facilitated the dating of the settlement.
“The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun,” Betsy Brian, a professor of Egyptology at the American John Hopkins University, said in the statement.
According to Brian, “Aten” will not only allow humanity to take a look at the life of the ancient Egyptians “at a time where the empire was at its wealthiest” but also it will “help us shed light on one of history’s greatest mystery: why did Akhenaten and Nefertiti decide to move to Amarna,” the region where a new imperial capital was built in the 16th century BC.
The excavations that led to the find are located between two temples, one dedicated to Amenhotep III and another to Ramses III and had begun in September 2020 in search of Tutankhamun’s Mortuary Temple.
Two weeks after the mission started, mud bricks began to appear everywhere and the group of archaeologists began to unearth the remains.
So far the experts have unearthed several areas of the city, where they have found a bakery, a large kitchen with ovens and ceramic pieces for storing food — in which a large number of people are believed to have been working —, as well as an administrative and residential neighborhood.
According to the statement, the Lost City was “fenced in by a zigzag wall, with only one access point leading to internal corridors and residential areas,” which makes archaeologists think that it had a defensive function.
The mission has also found a work area with moulds for the production of amulets and decorative objects and an area for the manufacture of bricks used in the construction of temples which “have seals bearing the cartouche of King Amenhotep III”. EFE