Aten - 3,000-year-old ‘lost golden city' of ancient Egypt found buried under sand; Egypt's 'Pompeii' moment:
If Italy has Pompeii, Egypt has now discovered an equally exciting settlement dating over 3000 years ago and shockingly, it lay buried for millennia near Luxor, even as archaeologists have dug for decades and maybe centuries near the Valley of the Kings.It is a moment to raise a toast to all archaeologists who work so hard to uncover such historical facts and places. It is discoveries such as these that make not just the archaeological fraternity but also the rest of the world hail the discovery.The latest find is believed to be the largest ancient city found in Egypt, buried under sand for 3000 years, which experts said was one of the most important finds since the unearthing of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The Egyptian mission calls it the largest ancient city, known as Aten, ever uncovered in Egypt.The famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the “lost golden city”, saying the site was uncovered near Luxor, home of the Valley of the Kings, reported The Guardian. “The Egyptian mission under Dr Zahi Hawass found the city that was lost under the sands,” the archaeology team said. “The city is 3,000 years old, dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, and continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay.”Zahi Hawass Announces Discovery of 'Lost Golden City' in Luxor The Egyptian mission found the city that was lost under the sands and called: The Rise of Aten. The city is 3k years old, dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, and continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay. pic.twitter.com/MTsyTZG7MJBetsy Bryan, Professor of Egyptian art and archaeology at Johns Hopkins University, said the find was the “second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun”, according to the team’s statement.“The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun,” said Johns Hopkins Egyptology professor Betsy Bryan. https://t.co/dHssOVpHuaZahi Hawass Unearthed the Lost City of “Aten” https://t.co/io30h4CbDb #Egypt #Archaeology #Egyptology more exclusive footage to be posted later @indyfromspace @yukinegy pic.twitter.com/gxbwBigxiuItems of jewellery such as rings have been unearthed, along with coloured pottery vessels, scarab beetle amulets and mud bricks bearing the seals of Amenhotep III.(Two unusual burials of a cow or bull were found inside one of the rooms. Investigations are underway to determine the nature and purpose of this practice.)Hawass, a former antiquities minister, said: “Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it. We began our work searching for the mortuary temple of Tutankhamun because the temples of both Horemheb and Ay were found in this area."Ahram.org reports that the Egyptian expedition was surprised to discover the largest city ever found in Egypt. Founded by one of the greatest rulers of Egypt, king Amenhotep III, the ninth king of the 18th dynasty, who ruled Egypt from 1391 till 1353 B.C. This city was active during the great king’s co-regency with his son, the famous Amenhotep IV/Akhenaton.The team began excavations in September 2020, between the temples of Ramses III and Amenhotep III near Luxor, 500km (300 miles) south of the capital, Cairo.Zahi Hawass announces discovery of Luxor’s ‘Lost City’. Read more at https://t.co/h4Gr0WDbld pic.twitter.com/YkBfZjAQKC“Within weeks, to the team’s great surprise, formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions,” the statement read. “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.”After seven months of excavations, several neighbourhoods have been uncovered, including a bakery complete with ovens and storage pottery, as well as administrative and residential districts.(Archaeologists have found an abundance of decorative and ritual items, including scarabs and amulets.)“An Egyptian Pompeii” A very exciting new announcement today on the discovery of a Lost City on the West Bank of Luxor. #ZahiHawass @ExperienceEgypt https://t.co/U6Z6wiD4wuAmenhotep III inherited an empire that stretched from the Euphrates to Sudan, archaeologists say, and died around 1354 BC.He ruled for nearly four decades, a reign known for its opulence and the grandeur of its monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon – two massive stone statues near Luxor that represent him and his wife.“The archaeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday,” the team’s statement said.Three thousand four hundred years ago, a contentious ancient Egyptian king abandoned his name, his religion, and his capital in Thebes (modern Luxor). Archaeologists know what happened next: The pharaoh Akhenaten built the short-lived city of Akhetaten, where he ruled alongside his wife, Nefertiti and worshipped the sun. After his death, his young son Tutankhamun became ruler of Egypt—and turned his back on his father’s controversial legacy.The abandonment of cities that is now archaeology's gain: The city appears to have been reused by Tutankhamun, who ditched Akhetaten during his reign but established a new capital in Memphis. Ay, who later inherited the throne when he married Tut’s widow, seems to have used it, too. Four distinct settlement layers at the site show eras of use all the way into the Coptic Byzantine era of the third through seventh centuries A.D, notes NatGeo. Bryan said the city “will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the Ancient Egyptians at the time where the empire was at his wealthiest”. The team said it was optimistic that further important finds would be revealed, noting it had discovered groups of tombs it reached through “stairs carved into the rock”, similar construction to those found in the Valley of the Kings.“The mission expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures,” the statement added.Egypt secures its legacy: The Mummies and the “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”. After years of political instability linked to a popular revolt in 2011, which dealt a severe blow to Egypt’s key tourism sector, the country is seeking to bring back visitors, in particular by promoting its ancient heritage.Last week, Egypt held a procession dubbed the “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”, in which 22 Egyptian mummies joined the living for an extravagant celebration in downtown Cairo.The live-streamed procession featured the relocation of 18 ancient kings and 4 queens from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC). Among the 22 bodies were those of Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiye.