A 'Mind-Blowing' Find: Egypt's 'Lost Golden City'

Archaeologists tease 'untouched tombs filled with treasures' in Luxor
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2021 8:37 AM CDT
A 'Mind-Blowing' Find: Egypt's 'Lost Golden City'
An undated handout photo released Thursday by the Zahi Hawass Center For Egyptology shows an archaeological discovery as part of the 'Lost Golden City' in Luxor, Egypt.   (by the Zahi Hawass Center For Egyptology via AP)

Big news out of Egypt, where a 3,000-year-old lost city has reportedly been found buried under the sand untouched. The "lost golden city of Luxor," as Egyptologist Zahi Hawass dubs it, was uncovered in September and dates to the reign of Tutankhamun's grandfather, Amenhotep III, who ruled from 1386 BC to 1353 BC during a period of peak power and wealth. That's evidenced by mud brick walls up to nine feet high and various buildings where administration work, metal and glass production, and tomb-building would've played out. More on the find:

  • The AP reports on how it was unearthed: In 2020 archaeologists descended on this area on the western bank of the Nile River hoping to find King Tutankhamun's mortuary temple. It was only a matter of weeks before they uncovered the mud bricks formations.
  • Homes still holding utensils that would have been used in everyday living were said to be found. "It's very much a snapshot in time—an Egyptian version of Pompeii," and it's "mind-blowing," Salima Ikram, an archaeologist with the American University in Cairo, tells National Geographic.
  • The team says it's found a cemetery and "expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures," per the Guardian.

  • Experts still have a lot to learn about the royal city. One big mystery: why Amenhotep III's son abandoned it after his father's death. After briefly ruling with his father, Akhenaten renounced the name Amenhotep IV, moved the capital from Thebes (modern-day Luxor) to a new city called Akhetaten, and began a new religion worshipping the sun god Aten alongside his wife Nefertiti.
  • Following his 17-year reign, "Akhenaten's capital, his art, his religion, and even his name was dismissed and systematically wiped from history," per NatGeo. His son, Tutankhamun, and Tutankhamun's successor, King Ay, both appear to have made use of Amenhotep III's city, though it looks to have been finally abandoned during the Muslim conquest of Egypt in the 7th century.
  • Betsy Brian, Professor of Egyptology at Johns Hopkins University, called it the most important archeological discovery since King Tut's tomb was found in 1922. Indeed, Hawass noted that "many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it."
(Read more discoveries stories.)

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