Recent Great Discovery in Archaeology: The Lost Golden City of Luxor in Egypt
For decades, experts had examined the pottery of the Moche, an early civilization of farmers and fishermen who flourished between 1,900 and 1,200 years ago along Perus north coast (Benson, 1-22). Throughout the years, archeologists have actively undertaken exploration projects to discover some of the renowned ancient civilizations and various aspects of man, including the remains of early man.
The primary goal of these explorations is to know more about our ancient ancestors, including body form, diet, and lifestyle, by studying bone remains equipment and tools, built structures, and artifacts. Egypt is one of the hotspots of archeological explorations. As recent as April 2021, the discovery of the Lost Golden City was announced as one of the recent significant archeological discoveries (Blakemore; Hawass, 83110). Therefore, this paper is a discussion of the Lost Golden City and will cover a background of the discovery, studies and research that is being done on the finding, and lastly, why the discovery is considered significant.
The Lost Golden City discovery
Near Luxor (ancient Thebes) in Egypt, archaeologists uncovered a Lost Golden City. Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled from 1391 and 1353 B.C., constructed the city known as The Rise of Aten. Numerous dwellings, administrative buildings, a huge bakery, a mud-brick production sector, and several cemeteries. Historical documents revealed the citys existence, but it was not discovered until 2021 (Blakemore). The ancient city was unearthed by an Egyptian excavation effort led by Zahi Hawass. Hawass, the archaeologist who oversaw the Golden City excavations, is a former minister of state for antiquities affairs in Egypt.
Because the temples of Horemheb and Ay were located in the same location, the team that discovered the city had the purpose of looking for King Tutankhamuns mortuary temple in that area. The mission began in September 2020, and mud-brick formations appeared in all directions within weeks. The vast metropolis was in good shape, with nearly complete walls and rooms packed with the necessities of daily living. For thousands of years, it remained unaltered. Hawass broadcasted the discovery of the Lost Golden City through the Egypt Ministry of Tourism on Thursday, April 8, 2021 (Hawass, 83110).
Background of the find
A disputed ancient Egyptian ruler abandoned his name, religion, and capital in Thebes three thousand four hundred years ago (modern Luxor). What happened next is known to archaeologists: Pharaoh Akhenaten constructed the short-lived metropolis of Akhetaten, where he ruled alongside his wife Nefertiti and worshipped the sun (Blakemore). Tutankhamun, his young son, ascended to the throne of Egypt after his fathers death and turned his back on his fathers contentious legacy. But why would Akhenaten depart Thebes, which had served as Egypts capital for 150 years? The discovery of a royal industrial metropolis within Thebes, which Akhenaten inherited from his father, Amenhotep III, may hold the answers. The discovery will elicit as much excitement, inquiry, and debate as to the renegade pharaoh who left it.
The town was located on the edge of the desert, just beyond the fields, among the mortuary temples built by the New Kingdoms great monarchs, and dates to King Amenhotep IIIs reign, which lasted from roughly 1388 to 48 B.C. (Kotarba-Morley, 1-8). Surrounding are the ruins of Amenhoteps funerary temple and one of his palace complexes, suggesting that the settlements artists and laborers manufactured things for the palace and other nearby royal monuments, like temples and tombs. This is an amazing find since while ancient Egypt is known for its magnificently preserved and enigmatic buildings – pyramids and temples, the Valley of the Kings, royal tombs the countrys lost settlements are genuine mysteries.
Studies and research on the Lost Golden City
Archeologists and anthropologists are conducting research studies on the discovered Lost Golden City, intending to establish the lifestyle of the individuals living in the city at the time. In addition, the findings being made from the city are important in that they add to the pool of information about Egyptian lifestyle and culture. According to what is known about Egypts cities (based on recent digs, geophysical surveys, and ancient literature), there were no stores, bars, or formal entertainment facilities (Kemp, 123-139).
Instead, people exchanged products privately or at local markets, usually held on the riverbank; drank beer with their families and friends at home or celebrations; and planned their amusement, such as sports and storytelling, but religious festivals were a common occurrence. City life was similar to village life at the time, although on a much bigger scale. And possibly no place was grander than Pi-Ramesses, a huge city in the east Delta that once stood. Grand homes with beautiful balconies, palaces, temples to the most important state gods, gardens, military barracks, stables for the kings horses, chariot workshops, and waterways would have mesmerized Egyptians as they roamed the streets.
All of this evidence and new insights from the Rise of Aten contribute to a more complex image of life in ancient Egypt, one that moves away from elite narratives and beyond conventional perceptions of Egyptians as a society consumed with death and religion. This isnt to argue that the ancient Egyptians didnt value death and religion. They were, without a doubt. Nobody constructs the Great Pyramid of Giza as a slightly entertaining pastime (Van de Mieroop, 36-40). Life was just as essential as death, and the more ancient Egyptian villages we find and study, the clearer their lives rather than just their deaths became.
Significance of the discovery
The discovery of a 3,000 year-old city lost to Egypts sands has been heralded as the most critical archaeological finds since the uncovering of Tutankhamuns tomb. The city would provide archaeologists with a rare look into the lives of ancient Egyptians during their most prosperous period.
The excavation uncovered many priceless archaeological items, including jewelry, colored ceramics, scarab beetle amulets, and mud bricks with Amenhotep III seals. The excavations started on the Luxors west bank, near the Valley of the Kings, around 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Cairo. Several sectors or neighborhoods, including a bakery, an administrative district, and a residential area, have been unearthed months after the excavation began.
The seal of Tutankhamuns grandfather, King Amenhotep III, who is regarded as one of Egypts most powerful pharaohs, can be found on some of the mud bricks recovered here. Tutankhamun and his successor Ay are both thought to have visited the city during what is considered to be ancient Egypts golden age. The site has a great number of glass and faience ovens and kilns and the remains of thousands of statues.
According to Egypts antiquities ministry, a bakery, ovens, and storage earthenware were discovered in the citys southern portion, while administrative and residential districts were discovered in the northern part, which has yet to be fully developed unearthed (Hawass, 83110). The city was formerly the pharaonic empires main administrative and industrial town, and several foreign expeditions searching for it were unable to locate it. The archaeological layers have been intact for thousands of years, left as if they were yesterday by the ancient inhabitants.
Benson, Elizabeth P.The worlds of the Moche on the North Coast of Peru. University of Texas Press, 2012.
Blakemore, Erin. Lost golden city of Luxor discovered by archaeologists in Egypt. National Geographic, April 9, 2021. nationalgeographic.com/history/article/lost-golden-city-Luxor-discovered-archaeologists-Egypt. Accessed April 1, 2022.
Hawass, Z. Excavations in Western Thebes, 2021: The Discoveryof the Golden Lost City, A Preliminary Report.Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, vol. 57, no. 1, Dec. 2021, pp. 83110
Kemp, Barry J. The city of el?Amarna as a source for the study of urban society in ancient Egypt.World Archaeology9.2 (1977): 123-139.
Kotarba-Morley, Anna M. The discovery of the lost city of the Dazzling Aten will offer vital clues about domestic and urban life in Ancient Egypt. (2021).
Van de Mieroop, Marc.A history of ancient Egypt. John Wiley & Sons, 2021.
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