The Pompeii of Ancient Egypt: The Lost Golden City

News was released on April 8th, 2021 that an entire lost ancient city in Egypt had been discovered last fall. The city, although its name is “The Rise of Atun”, is being called the “ancient Egyptian Pompeii” because after the initial excavations it became clear that almost all of the buildings and artefacts were in excellent condition. This site will be a rich source of archeological and historical information for decades, if not centuries, to come.

The city dates back to the time of Amenhotep III in the 14th century BCE, some 3,400 years ago. Ancient Egyptian tools, rings, colored pottery, scarabs and more were found all with the seal of Amenhotep III’s cartouche on them. Additionally, the debris from thousands of statues, a significant number of glass and faience ovens and kilns, and some odd human and animal burials were found.

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Zahi Hawass, head of the excavations, said the city was built under the direction of one of Egypt’s strongest pharaohs ever. It was last September that he and his team were about 300 miles south of Egypt’s capital, Cairo, when they were looking for the mortuary temple of King Tut. Little did they know that they were about to stumble upon one of the greatest discoveries of the past century.

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“The archaeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday.”
– Zahi Hawass

This is amazing and important because this city was created during the zenith of the Empire’s economic activity. It will allow a lot to be learned about daily life in the empire.

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The Lost City is located in Luxor on the western shore of the Nile river. Excavations are still underway, but the southern half of the city is mostly unearthed already. The northern half is still mostly buried. Houses, a large-scale bakery, and zigzag walls up to 10 meters high have all been found in the city. Just to north, a cemetery was discovered.

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References:

[1] – Dr. Zahi Hawass. Facebook post (8 Apr. 2021, 3:31am). https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=294251502062591&id=100044332304573&cft[0]=AZUBQ3u5exu9xdDG_lJQUKrBLRLL2Mbnnrm2eXWqofFMX6R5gGLBmcTWpuuLM1-3TP_-lWI9gYBCVqZUMXKuOU8g86nBqqw_St9z8xSGZZULLfwVkHWmrowfCKSK0JtcBbLNm3MkewlUwbMQVdfR329u&tn=%2CO%2CP-R. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

[2] – Reuters with The New York Times. Archaeologists Unearth ‘Ancient Egyptian Pompeii’ (8 Apr. 2021). https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/world/middleeast/egypt-ancient-city.html. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

[3] – Amanda Woods with the New York Post. 3,000-year-old lost Egyptian city discovered by archaeologists (9 Apr. 2021, 10:23am). https://nypost.com/2021/04/09/3000-year-old-lost-egyptian-city-discovered-by-archaeologists/. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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