Archaeologists in Egypt have unexpectedly unearthed a well preserved 3,000 year old lost city in what some are describing as the most important find in Egypt since the famous discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamen. The find, which promises to offer a wealth of artifacts and information about life in New Kingdom Egypt, comes amid a major push from the Egyptian government to renew interest in history and archaeology and to revitalize the tourism industry.
City of King Tut uncovered
The city dates from the lengthy reign of the powerful Pharaoh Amenhotep III, father of the infamous heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten and grandfather of the famed “King Tut.”
The mummy of Amenhotep III was recently featured in a grand procession of ancient royal mummies to their new home in the newly constructed National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.
King Tutankhamun, who has been a household name since the spectacular discovery of his tomb by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922, is thought to have continued to use the newly discovered city as an administrative center.
The period to which the city dates is known as a great golden age of Egypt, producing some of the most dramatic and recognizable artifacts and monuments in the world.
The 14th century B.C. was also, however, a period of enormous social and political upheaval in Egypt, primarily caused by the attempt of the Pharaoh Akhenaten to replace the traditional Egyptian pantheon with the worship of a new monotheistic deity.
Tutankhamun, who devoted most of his brief reign to reversing the religious policies of his father, sparked further crises with his early death.
A proud moment for Egypt
The newly uncovered city, located close to the Valley of Kings in which the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered, promises to shed new light on this turbulent and rich era of history.
The ruins are said to be extremely well preserved and to contain an abundance of relics of daily life in ancient Egypt, drawing early comparisons to Pompeii.
Well known Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, who announced the find, expects further excavations to find “untouched tombs filled with treasure.”
The find is a great triumph for Egypt, which has increasingly been looking to the Pharaohs as a source of national pride and identity after suffering its own turbulent decade.
The elaborate parade of royal mummies on April 3 was a carefully planned and coordinated event which saw a number of pharaohs removed from Cairo and taken to the new museum near the Giza Pyramids.
Expectations in Egypt are clearly high for the new find. Regardless of what is uncovered at the site, the ancient city is sure to reveal a window into a period of Egyptian history which continues to fascinate and capture imaginations worldwide.