By- Khushi Bisht
Archeologists recently unearthed a 3000-year-old Egyptian wonder known as the ‘Lost Golden City of Luxor,’ near the ‘Valley of Kings’, a burial site for the New Kingdom’s pharaohs and prominent nobles. It is the most significant discovery in nearly a century, since the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.
This ancient ‘Lost Golden City’ is situated on Nile’s west bank, near the Colossi of Memnon, Medinet Habu, and King Ramses II’s memorial temple, which are all popular attractions. The city dates back to the reign of the 18th dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III (1386-1353 B.C.), who ruled over a period of immense prosperity, prestige, and comfort. Tutankhamun (last king of the ancient Egypt’s18th dynasty) and his successor Ay (the penultimate pharaoh of the ancient 18th dynasty) are said to have used the city during what is generally considered to be ancient Egypt’s golden period.
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The discovery of the ‘Golden City’ was led by renowned archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass. He said the city discovered is regarded as ‘The Rise of Aten.’ This city’s name is derived from the Egyptian word ‘Aten,’ which means “Sun.” It is Egypt’s largest city ever discovered. This jewel was discovered submerged under sands in Luxor, alongside clay wine containers, colored pottery, jewelry, vessels, spinning and weaving equipment, and glass-making tools. The site has a vast collection of ovens and kilns used to make glass and faience, as well as the remains of dozens of sculptures.
Among other major discoveries, the team found a bakery, a big kitchen, a residential and operational area, and zig-zag fencing that acted as one security point. The team found mud-brick houses with 10-foot-high walls. The rooms were crammed with daily objects, most of which are related to the creative and industrial activity that fueled the pharaoh’s capital city. A container holding 10 kilograms of cooked or dried meat, as well as a gold-plated fish, were also discovered.
When King Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten) rose to power and reversed direction, he abandoned, Thebes his father’s city, and seemingly all it held. This finding is significant because it may throw light to explain why King Amenhotep III’s son, King Amenhotep IV, and his royal wife Nefertiti deserted the golden city and relocated to Amarna during his rule. It also aims to resolve the question of whether King Tutankhamun flooded the golden city of ‘The Rise of Aten’ after it was deserted by his father and King Amenhotep IV.
Although further studies and observations are still to be made, the excavations at the ‘Lost Golden City’ have already piqued the interest of archaeologists due to intriguing and unexplained discoveries. These discoveries provide us with a fascinating insight into the lives of the Ancient Egyptians at a time when the kingdom was at its apex. Work is still ongoing, and the team hopes to find untouched tombs containing more artifacts.
Archaeologists claim that the ancient Egyptians were involved in decorative artifacts, jewelry, and pottery, among other products. The city was once the main trading and management settlement of the Pharaonic kingdom. Several foreign missions attempted to locate this city but were unsuccessful.
Egypt is now attempting to spread its ancient history in order to revitalize its tourist industry, which has suffered from decades of political turmoil and destruction caused by the coronavirus epidemic.