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Dig uncovers 'Lost Golden City'; largest ancient city ever found in Egypt

By Don Johnson
An archaeological discovery, named the "Lost Golden City," is seen in Luxor, Egypt. Scientists say the city is 3,000 years old and excavation work to uncover it began last September. Photo by Zahi Hawass Center For Egyptology/EPA-EFE
An archaeological discovery, named the "Lost Golden City," is seen in Luxor, Egypt. Scientists say the city is 3,000 years old and excavation work to uncover it began last September. Photo by Zahi Hawass Center For Egyptology/EPA-EFE

April 9 (UPI) -- Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered a 3,000-year-old city that dates back to the era of ruler Amenhotep III, one of the country's most powerful pharaohs who reigned for almost four decades in the 1300s B.C.

Egyptian officials, who announced the find on Thursday, are calling the discovery in the southern province of Luxor the "Lost Golden City." The city is also known as Aten.

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Betsy Brian, a Johns Hopkins University egyptologist, calls the significance of the find second only to the discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922.

"The discovery of the Lost City, not only will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the Ancient Egyptians at the time where the Empire was at its wealthiest but will help us shed light on one of history's greatest mystery: Why did Akhenaten and Nefertiti decide to move to Amarna?" Brian said, according to ABC News.

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After seven months of excavation, the mission led by former Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass found neighborhoods of the city. The mission's initial objective was to find a mortuary temple of King Tut.

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Hawass said the find was the largest ancient city ever uncovered in Egypt. The dig revealed archaeological finds, such as jewelry, colored pottery and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep III, who ruled during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt.

"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," Hawass said in the ABC News report, adding that discoveries included a residential area and a bakery.

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Many foreign missions have previously searched for the city, but none were able to locate it. Hawass said his team expects to uncover tombs filled with treasures.

Excavation work to uncover the Lost Golden City began in September.

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