Forbes: 'Photos: Egypt’s 3,400-Year-Old ‘Lost Golden City’ Is Unearthed From Desert Sands'

Published 19 April 2021 in Insights


'Photos: Egypt’s 3,400-Year-Old ‘Lost Golden City’ Is Unearthed From Desert Sands'

By Suzanne Rowan Kelleher


Published 13 April 2021

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered what is believed to be the largest city of the Egyptian empire and the most important archaeological discovery since King Tut’s tomb nearly a century ago.

Lost under desert sands for three millennia, the ruins of the “Lost Golden City” date back over 3,400 years to the reign of Amenhotep III, the ninth king of the 18th dynasty, who ruled ancient Egypt during a golden period of peace and prosperity.

“Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it,” Dr. Zahi Hawass, the former Egyptian Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, said in a statement. The famed archaeologist was leading an Egyptian team in search of Tutankhamun’s mortuary temple when they made the discovery last September. The excavation area is located near Luxor, between Rameses III’s temple at Medinet Habu and Amenhotep III’s temple at Memnon.

The discovery is said to be the most important archaeological find since the tomb of King Tut. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency) ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES

“To the team's great surprise, formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions,” said Dr. Hawass. “What they unearthed was the site of a large city in a good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life. The archaeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday.”

“It’s very much a snapshot in time—an Egyptian version of Pompeii,” Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, told National Geographic. “I don’t think you can oversell it. It is mindblowing.”

Dr. Hawass’s team was able to date the settlement from hieroglyphic inscriptions found on clay caps of wine vessels and mud bricks bearing seals of King Amenhotep III's cartouche.