3,000-year-old ‘Lost Golden City’ of Ancient Egypt Discovered

Archaeology experts have said discovery of Aten – called the ‘lost golden city’ – is the largest ancient city uncovered in Egypt. Photograph: Zahi Hawass Center for Egyptology/Reuters

Doing archaeology in Egypt is really a dream come true! Every day reveals new findings… it is amazing to witness the rediscoveries of this ancient African civilization… and each time as more artifacts are unearthed, we are in awe because current world civilizations seem so less advanced than the civilization of the Egyptian pharaohs! Today, in Egypt, the discovery of a 3,000 years old lost city was announced. This is not just any city, this is Aten; it dates back to the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, one of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs who ruled from 1391 to 1353 BC. Excerpts below are from the Guardian… Enjoy!

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Archaeologists have hailed the discovery of what is believed to be the largest ancient city found in Egypt, buried under sand for millennia, which experts said was one of the most important finds since the unearthing of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the “lost golden city”, saying the site was uncovered near Luxor, home of the Valley of the Kings.

The Egyptian mission under Dr Zahi Hawass found the city that was lost under the sands,” the archeology team said. “The city is 3,000 years old, dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, and continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay.”

It called the find the largest ancient city, known as Aten, ever uncovered in Egypt.

The archaeologists found a large number of decorative and ritual items, including scarabs and amulets. Photograph posted by Dr. Zahi Hawass on Facebook

Betsy Bryan, Professor of Egyptian art and archaeology at Johns Hopkins University, said the find was the “second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun”, according to the team’s statement.

… Items of jewellery such as rings have been unearthed, along with coloured pottery vessels, scarab beetle amulets and mud bricks bearing the seals of Amenhotep III.

… “The archaeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday,” the team’s statement said.

Why the Name: Alexandria?

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View of the Corniche of Alexandria (Wikipedia)

It is about time we talked about Alexandria, the light of Egypt. So why the name Alexandria? If you thought about Alexander the Great, then you are absolutely right! Yes. The second largest city and major economic center of Egypt was named and founded by Alexander the Great.

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3rd century BC bust of Alexander the Great (Wikipedia)

Alexandria was founded around a small Ancient Egyptian town around 331 BC by Alexander the Great. It became an important center of the Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Hellenistic and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1000 years until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world; now replaced by a modern one); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was the second most powerful city of the ancient world after Rome. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

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The Great Library of Alexandria

To me, Alexandria, has always had a special place in my heart because of its Great Library. Imagine thousands upon thousands of ancient papyri, scrolls, and books on mathematics, philosophy, medicine, architecture, etc. Just the thought of it makes my eyes shine with light. Isn’t it thrilling? And then to know that this library had been burnt down by the army of Julius Caesar in 48 BC (more like a repeat of history: Palmyra, The giant Buddhas of Afghanistan, Timbuktu, …) also makes my heart ache at the thought of all this knowledge gone down in flames. Today, we remember the Great Library of Alexandria thanks to what poets and writers of the past said about it, but there are no vestiges of it. I also remember Alexandria because of the brilliant female mathematician Hypatia who chaired a department of philosophy and astronomy, and the world-renowned mathematician Euclid.

Today, Alexandria is Egypt’s largest seaport, serving approximately 80% of Egypt’s imports and exports. It is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also an important tourist destination. Enjoy the video below about Alexandria, the beautiful!

Ancient City unearthed in Egypt

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Pyramid of Giza in the 19th Century

An ancient city has been unearthed in Egypt and dates back more than 5,000 years and contains houses, tools, pottery, and huge graves. The city lies by the River Nile, close to the temple of Seti I in Abydos. It is said to have been the city of tomb builders and architects. The rest below is from the BBC:

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It is believed the city was home to important officials and tomb builders and would have flourished during early-era ancient Egyptian times.

Archaeologists have made a range of finds in the newly-discovered city including buildings, shards of pottery and tools.

It is believed that this location was home to important officials and tomb builders who may have been engaged in the construction of royal graves in the nearby sacred city of Abydos – a place of many temples, and a capital in an early period of ancient Egyptian history.

The area is in the southern province of Sohag, in Upper Egypt, home also to the city of Luxor, one of the country’s most popular tourist sites.

“About a mile behind where this material is said to be we have the necropolis with royal tombs going from before history to the period where we start getting royal names, we start getting identifiable kings,” Prof Chris Eyre, an Egyptologist based at the University of Liverpool, told the BBC.

So, this appears to be the town, the capital at the very beginning of Egyptian history.”

The discovery was made by an archaeological mission that belongs to the country’s Antiquities Ministry, and not a foreign group, officials quoted in Egypt Independent website said.