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Just like real-life Indiana Joneses, a team of Egyptian archaeologists, led by former antiquities minister Dr Zahi Hawass, have announced they have uncovered a lost ancient city called Aten.
The city is over 3,000 years old, and dates back to the New Kingdom period of Egyptian history. According to American professor Betsy Brian, Egyptians all over the world have hailed the discovery as “the second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun.”
The city of Aten is the largest ancient city unearthed so far in Egypt. According to Dr Hawass, while on a search for the mortuary temple of Tutankhamun, the team chanced upon a vast expanse of well-preserved walls of a large city. It turns out they had discovered the industrial city complex founded by King Amenhotep III who ruled from 1391 BCE to 1353 BCE, and was continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay thereafter.
As per My Modern Met, excavations began in September 2020 and are ongoing, with two royal palaces and a series of tombs yet to be excavated.
The archaeologists have found countless walled rooms made of mud brick, including a bakery and kitchen. Scarabs, pottery, rings, and wine vessels have also been discovered bearing seals of King Amenhotep III’s cartouche, confirming the dating of the city.
In history as we know it, a short time after Ancient Egyptians resided in this city, it was abandoned and the capital relocated to Amarna. Till now, scholars have not found the answer to this sudden migration.
This discovery of the Lost City will allow historians a rare glimpse into the life of Ancient Egyptians at the time when the Empire was at its wealthiest, but will also help shed light on why Akhenaten and Nefertiti eventually decided to leave the city for Amarna.
Work is still underway and the mission expects to uncover more untouched tombs filled with treasures.
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