According to a new report in The Washington Post, the long lost city of Aten has been uncovered by archaeologists in what is being considered one of the biggest discoveries in Egypt to date.
“The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun,” Egyptology professor and member of the mission Betsy Bryan said in a statement following the discovery.
According to the same statement, the city is said to have been founded by King Amenhotep III, presumably between the years of 1391 to 1353 B.C., when he ruled. It is after him that the city was named: Aten. If history is to be believed, Aten was the largest administrative and industrial hub of its time.
The excavation, which has been almost six months in the making, began in September as an attempt to find King Tutankhamen’s mortuary temple. Instead, archaeologists began uncovering what appeared to be remnants of something much bigger.
“Within weeks, to the team’s great surprise, formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions,” the statement said. “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.”
As with most discoveries of this nature, archaeologists were able to establish a timeline by way of hieroglyphic inscriptions found on a variety of items — wine vessels, rings, scarabs, pottery and mud bricks, The Washington Post reported. And being that the city has gone untouched for so long, much of it still apparently exists as it once did, with the team unearthing bakeries, kitchens, private residences and workshops, all of which serve as perfectly preserved evidence of how life must have looked for those residing within its walls.
Most recently, the work to uncover the tombs within the city — also untouched — has begun, with the mission, according to the statement, expecting to discover “treasure.”
The Egyptian government hopes that this news will assist in jumpstarting tourism again as vaccine distribution picks up and travel resumes, to which we say: OK, fine, we’ll come to Egypt to see the treasure.
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