Egypt’s ‘lost golden city’ is FOUND: Massive 3,500-year-old settlement founded by Tutankhamun’s grandfather is unearthed in most significant discovery since the boy king’s tomb

  •  Archaeologists announced the discovery of a 3,500-year-old ‘lost golden city’ found in Luxor in, Egypt
  • The city was built by King Amenhotep III, who was the grandfather of the famous King Tutankhamun
  • The massive structure houses roads, neighborhoods, bakeries, workshops and even burials 
  • Archaeologists dated the city using hieroglyphics found on pottery and King Amenhotep III’s stamp on bricks
  • One area in the city an administration area that is surrounded by a zigzag wall with only one entrance
  • The design acted like a security system , along residents to to control entry and exit to enclosed areas
  • This may be most significant find since King Tutankhamun’s lavish tomb was unearthed nearly a century ago

Archaeologists announced the discovery of a 3,500-year-old ‘lost city of gold’ that was built by King Tutankhamun’s grandfather and may be the most significant find since the boy-pharaoh’s lavish tomb was unearthed nearly a century ago.

The ancient pharaonic city, known as Aten, was constructed by King Amenhotep III, who begin his rule around 1390 BC, and was later used by King Tutankhamun.

The settlement, discovered in the southern city of Luxor, is the largest ancient city to be discovered in Egypt, complete with neighborhoods, streets and a security system.

Excavations uncovered bakeries, workshops and burials of animals and humans, along with jewelry, pots and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep III. 

The team initially set out to discover Tutankhamun’s Mortuary Temple, where the young king was mummified and received status rites – but they stumbled upon something far greater.

Within just weeks of digging, they uncovered ‘mud brick formations in every direction,’ Egyptian mission directed Zahi Hawass said in a statement.

‘Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it,’ Hawass continued. 

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Archaeologists announced the discovery of a 3,500-year-old ‘lost city of gold’ that was built by King Tutankhamun’s grandfather and may be the most significant find since the boy-pharaoh’s lavish tomb was unearthed nearly a century ago

Archaeologists unearthed the well-preserved city that had nearly complete walls and rooms filled with tools used in daily life along with rings, scarabs, colored pottery vessels and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep’s cartouche, Luxor Times shared on Facebook.

‘The city’s streets are flanked by houses … some of their walls are up to three meters high,’ Hawass said.

Luxor is famously known for its oldest and most ancient Egyptian sites, along with being home to the Valley of Kings.

This area was also once called the ‘Great Necropolis of Millions of Years of Pharaoh,’ as a number of mummies and massive structures have been discovered in Luxor since the 1800s.

Excavations uncovered bakeries, workshops and burials of animals and humans, along with jewelry, pots and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep III 


The ancient pharaonic city, known as Aten, was constructed by King Amenhotep III (left), who begin his rule around 1391 BC, and was later used by King Tutankhamun (right)

Luxor is famously known for its oldest and most ancient Egyptian sites, along with being home to the Valley of Kings. This area was also once called the ‘Great Necropolis of Millions of Years of Pharaoh,’ as a number of mummies and massive structures have been discovered in Luxor

Betsy Brian, Professor of Egyptology at John Hopkins University in Baltimore USA, said ‘The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun’.

‘The discovery of the Lost City, not only will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the Ancient Egyptians at the time where the Empire was at his wealthiest but will help us shed light on one of history’s greatest mystery: why did Akhenaten & Nefertiti decide to move to Amarna.’

The area sits between Rameses III’s temple at Medinet Habu and Amenhotep III’s temple at Memnon. 

Excavations began at the sit in September 2020 and within weeks, archaeologists uncovered formations of mud bricks laid out in all directions.

After more digging, archaeologists unearthed the site of the large, well-preserved city, almost complete walls, and rooms filled with tools once used by the inhabitants’ daily lives.

The first goal of the mission was to date the settlement, which was done using hieroglyphic inscriptions found on clay caps of wine vessels. ‘Historical references tell us the settlement consisted of three royal palaces of King Amenhotep III, as well as the Empire’s administrative and industrial center,’ archaeologists shared in a statement

They unearthed the well-preserved city that had almost complete walls and rooms filled with tools of daily life along with rings, scarabs, colored pottery vessels and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep’s cartouche

WHAT IS EGYPT’S VALLEY OF THE KINGS?

The Valley of the Kings in upper Egypt is one of the country’s main tourist attractions and is the famous burial ground of many deceased pharaohs.

It is located near the ancient city of Luxor on the banks of the river Nile in eastern Egypt – 300 miles (500km) away from the pyramids of Giza, near Cairo.

The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who ruled from 1550 to 1069 BC, rested in the tombs which were cut into the local rock.

The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues as to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period.

The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who ruled from 1550 to 1069 BC, rested in the tombs which were cut into the local rock. Pictured are statues of goddesses at the site

Almost all of the tombs were opened and looted centuries ago, but the sites still give an idea of the opulence and power of the Pharaohs.

The most famous pharaoh at the site is Tutankhamun, whose tomb was discovered in 1922.

Preserved to this day, in the tomb are original decorations of sacred imagery from, among others, the Book of Gates or the Book of Caverns.

These are among the most important funeral texts found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs.

The Valley of the Kings in upper Egypt is one of the country’s main tourist attractions. The most famous pharaoh at the site is Tutankhamun, whose tomb was discovered in 1922

The first goal of the mission was to date the settlement, which was done using hieroglyphic inscriptions found on clay caps of wine vessels.

‘Historical references tell us the settlement consisted of three royal palaces of King Amenhotep III, as well as the Empire’s administrative and industrial center,’ archaeologists shared in a statement. 

Most of the sandy landscape was cleared from the area in just seven months, which showed neighborhoods with different facilities.

There was a bakery in the southern part of the city, with a kitchen complete with ovens and storage pottery.

‘From its size, we can state the kitchen was catering a very large number of workers and employees,’ archaeologists explained.

The team is still working on a second part of Aten and although partially covered, they believe it is the administrative and residential district, with larger and well-arranged units.

This area is surrounded by a zigzag wall and has only a single access point that leads to internal corridors and residential areas.

‘The single entrance makes us think it was some sort of security, with the ability to control entry and exit to enclosed areas, researchers shared.

A number of bricks still litter the landscape that bear seals of King Amenhotep III

Along with structural elements, there were burials found inside the city’s walls. Pictured is either a cow or bull that was found buried in a room of a buildin

The remains of a person found with their arms stretched to the side and tattered rope wrapped around their knees

‘Zigzag walls are one of the rare architectural elements in ancient Egyptian architecture, mainly used towards the end of the 18th Dynasty.’

The third area appears to be workshops were located that constructed the mud bricks used to build the massive city.

A number of bricks still litter the landscape that bear seals of King Amenhotep III.

There are also large casting molds for making amulets and delicate, decorative objects.

‘This is further evidence of the extensive activity in the city to produce decorations for both temples and tombs,’ archaeologists said.

‘All over the excavated areas, the mission has found many tools used in some sort of industrial activity like spinning and weaving.

‘Metal and glass-making slag has also been unearthed, but the main area of such activity has yet to be discovered.’

Along with structural elements, there were burials found inside the city’s walls.

There are also large casting molds for making amulets and delicate, decorative objects

‘This is further evidence of the extensive activity in the city to produce decorations for both temples and tombs,’ archaeologists said.

Two animal burials were unearthed of either a cow or bull, along with remains of a person found with their arms stretched to the side and tattered rope wrapped around their knees.

The excavation also reveals a mud seal with inscriptions that can be read: ‘gm pa Aton’ that can be translated as ‘The domain of the dazzling Aten’, this is the name of a temple built by King Akhenaten at Karnak.

‘As history goes, one year after this pot was made, the city was abandoned and the capital relocated to Amarna. But was it? And why? And was the city repopulated again when Tutankhamun returned to Thebes,’ said the team in a statement.

‘Only further excavations of the area will reveal what truly happened 3500 years ago.

To the north of the settlement a large cemetery was uncovered, the extent of which has yet to be determined.’

Aten is said to be more significant than King Tutankhamun’s tomb. In 1907, Lord Carnarvon George Herbert asked English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter to supervise excavations in the Valley of the Kings. On 4 November 1922, Carter’s group found steps that led to Tutankhamun’s tomb and spent several months cataloguing the antechamber

King Tut’s tomb is one of the most lavish to be discovered in history, filled with precious objects to aid the young Pharaoh on his voyage to the afterlife. The trove of grave goods included 5,000 items including solid gold funeral shoes, statues, games and strange animals

Tutankhamun’s successor, King Ay, built his temple on a site which was later adjoined on its southern side by Rameses III’s temple at Medinet Habu.

Egyptologists believe Ay’s temple may formerly have belonged to Tutankhamun as two colossal statues of the young king were found there. The northern part of the temple is still under the sands.

Amenhotep III inherited an empire that stretched from the Euphrates to Sudan, archaeologists say, and died around 1354 BC.

He ruled for nearly four decades, a reign known for its opulence and the grandeur of its monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon — two massive stone statues near Luxor that represent him and his wife.

‘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.

Bryan said the city ‘will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the Ancient Egyptians at the time where the Empire was at his wealthiest’.

The team said they were optimistic that further important finds would be revealed, noting they had discovered groups of tombs reached through ‘stairs carved into the rock’, a similar construction to those found in the Valley of the Kings.

‘The mission expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures,’ the statement added.

WHO WAS KING TUTANKHAMUN AND HOW WAS HIS TOMB DISCOVERED?


The face of Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and ruled between 1332 BC and 1323 BC. Right, his famous gold funeral mask

Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and ruled between 1332 BC and 1323 BC.

He was the son of Akhenaten and took to the throne at the age of nine or ten.

When he became king, he married his half-sister, Ankhesenpaaten.

He died at around the age of 18 and his cause of death is unknown.

In 1907, Lord Carnarvon George Herbert asked English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter to supervise excavations in the Valley of the Kings.

On 4 November 1922, Carter’s group found steps that led to Tutankhamun’s tomb.

He spent several months cataloguing the antechamber before opening the burial chamber and discovering the sarcophagus in February 1923.

When the tomb was discovered in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter, under the patronage of Lord Carnarvon, the media frenzy that followed was unprecedented.

Carter and his team took 10 years to clear the tomb of its treasure because of the multitude of objects found within it. 

For many, Tut embodies ancient Egypt’s glory because his tomb was packed with the glittering wealth of the rich 18th Dynasty from 1569 to 1315 BC.

Egypt’s antiquities chief Zahi Hawass (3rd L) supervises the removal of the lid of the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun in his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in 2007.

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