Archeology: Discovery of “the largest ancient city in Egypt”

Archeology: Discovery of “the largest ancient city in Egypt”
Archeology: Discovery of “the largest ancient city in Egypt”

Posted8 avril 2021, 20:14

Remains dating back more than 3,000 years have been found near Luxor, Egyptian authorities said Thursday.

The remains of what may be the largest ancient city in Egypt have been found not far from the Luxor site (pictured), former Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zah Hawass said Thursday.

Photo d’illustration/Unsplash

An Egyptian archaeological mission has discovered the “largest ancient city in Egypt”, dating back more than 3000 years before our era, near Luxor, in the south of the country, its director, the former Minister of Antiquities and archaeologist Zahi Hawass.

“The archaeological mission (…) discovered a buried city (…) which dates from the reign of King Amenhotep III and which continued to be used by King Tutankhamun, that is 3000 years ago”, states the archaeological mission in a communicated.

Arrived on the throne in 1391 BC, Amenhotep III died in 1353 BC. Objects, including jewelry and pottery bearing his seal, were discovered in the city, thus confirming the dating, it is specified. It is “the largest ancient city in Egypt”, according to Zahi Hawass, quoted in the press release.

The mission began its excavations in September 2020 between the temples of Ramses III and Amenhotep III near Luxor, about 500 km south of Cairo.

“Within a few weeks, to the team’s surprise, clay brick formations began to appear,” the statement said. And the site is “in a good state of conservation, with almost entire walls and rooms full of tools of daily life.”

Three royal palaces

“The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun,” said Betsy Brian, professor of Egyptology at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, also quoted in the statement.

In particular, it will allow “to offer us a rare glimpse into the life of the ancient Egyptians during the most prosperous hours of the (New) Empire”.

The city is made up of “three royal palaces (…) as well as the administrative and manufacturing center of the Empire”. But archaeologists have also unearthed a “food preparation area” with a “bakery”, an “administrative district” and a construction “workshop”.

Two burials of “cows or bulls” as well as an “unusual” human body were also discovered.

Parade of mummies in Cairo

After years of political instability linked to the popular uprising of 2011, which dealt a blow to the key tourism sector, Egypt is seeking to bring back visitors, notably by promoting its ancient heritage.

Last week, 22 floats carrying mummies of ancient Egyptian kings and queens passed through Cairo in a spectacular parade to reach the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, the new home of these royal remains.


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