A newly rediscovered “lost city” in Luxor is Egypt’s most significant finding since Howard Carter unearthed King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, reports Sudarsan Raghavan for the Washington Post. The city is “believed to have been founded by King Amenhotep III, the ninth king of ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty who ruled the country from 1391 to 1353 B.C.,” and is possibly the largest administrative and industrial settlement of the time, an era when ancient Egypt was at the height of its wealth and power.
“The original goal of the mission was to find King Tutankhamen’s mortuary temple.” Instead, the archaeologists found an entirely new city filled with buildings and artifacts that will help Egyptologists learn more about daily life in ancient Egypt. “The archaeological team dated the settlement through hieroglyphic inscriptions found on wine vessels, as well as rings, scarabs, pottery and mud bricks bearing the seals of King Amenhotep III’s cartouche.”
The team has identified several specialized buildings and areas including a bakery and food storeroom, a craft workshop, and a fortified residential district. A cemetery is located north of the city, although the bodies of two cows and one human have been found within city buildings, leading to questions about social practices.
Luxor, known in ancient times as Thebes and the capital of then-Upper Egypt, is still a bustling city of over a million people today.