Ancient city, second largest to Tutankhamun, discovered in Egypt

Ancient city, second largest to Tutankhamun, discovered in Egypt

Betsy Bryan, professor of Egyptian art and archaeology at Johns Hopkins University, described the find as the "second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun" almost a century ago.

The Egyptian expedition was surprised to discover the largest city ever found in Egypt.

Zahi Hawass, a famous-and controversial-Egyptian scholar, announced the discovery of the "lost golden city" near Luxor, site of the ancient city of Thebes, on Thursday.

"It is a sort of ancient Egyptian Pompeii and shows the critical need to preserve this area as an archaeological park", said Dr Lacovara, who has worked at the Malqata palace area for more than 20 years but was not involved in the excavations.

Metal and glass-making slag has also been unearthed, but the main area of such activity has yet to be discovered.

The announcement comes less than a week after Egypt staged a grandiose parade to move 22 royal mummies to a new Cairo museum that celebrates the country's ancient heritage.

The team led by Hawass reportedly started working last September at the site about 300 miles south of Cairo.

The city dates back to the reign of Amenhotep III.

It has been described as the "lost golden city of Luxor".

Image courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
Image courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The city is considered a vital clue to the cultural and religious developments of the reign of Amenhotep III whose succession would come at the hands of his son, Akhenaten.

It's located close to a number of important ancient Egyptian monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon, the Madinat Habu Temple and the Ramesseum.

The British Daily Mail also commented on the important archaeological discovery, adding that the ancient Pharaonic city is the largest ancient city to be discovered in Egypt, having complete suburbs and a security system.

Work is underway and the mission expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures.

The LGC was the largest administrative and industrial settlement in the era of the Egyptian empire on the western bank of Luxor, he said, pointing out the mission unearthed some of the city's streets that are flanked by houses, with walls are up to 3 meters high.

Investigations are underway over the finds of two unusual burials of a cow or bull found inside one of the rooms, as well as a burial of a person with arms outstretched to his side, and remains of a rope wrapped around his knees, he added.

The excavation also reveals a mud seal with inscriptions that can be read: "gm pa Aton" which can be translated to "the domain of the dazzling Aten", this is the name of a temple built by King Akhenaten at Karnak. Aten was different from other gods of the time, such as Ra, who were all worshipped in human form.

Archeologists started excavating in the area past year, searching for the mortuary temple of boy King Tutankhamun. Hawass said that many "foreign missions" have searched for this ancient city before, but had been unsuccessful. The team has not yet been able to fully explore a group of rock-cut tombs accessible through stairs carved into the rock.

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