Archaeologists have announced the discovery of an ancient royal city that lay buried under sand for centuries near Luxor in Upper Egypt, hailing it as one of the most significant archaeological finds for Egyptologists since Tutankhamun's tomb almost a century ago.
The statement, which was shared on the Ministry's social media pages, adds that "the largest city ever found in Egypt" was founded by one of the greatest rulers of Egypt, namely of the New Kingdom, Amenhotep III.
Dubbed "the lost golden city" by Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, the site was unearthed near Luxor, home of the Valley of the Kings, which lies 300 miles south of Cairo, the capital of Egypt.
"The Egyptian mission under Dr Zahi Hawass found the city that was lost under the sand", the archaeologists said.
Metal and glass-making slag has also been unearthed, but the main area of such activity has yet to be discovered.
When Tutankhamun became king, he restored the "Ancient Egyptian religion" - a complex polytheistic system that had been prevalent before Akhenaten established Atenism.
They unearthed the city which still had nearly complete walls and rooms filled with tools, jewellery, scarabs, coloured pottery and bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep's cartouche.
As such, along with the famed settlement of Deir-El Medina, the city's discovery can provide archaeologists with a glimpse of daily life activities in ancient times. They also found an administrative and residential district fenced in by a zigzag wall that only had one entrance, which suggests it was to provide security, the statement explains.
Betsy Brian, professor of egyptology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said the finding's importance is only second to the earth-shattering discovery of King Tut's tomb.
Investigations are underway over the finds of two unusual burials of a cow or bull found inside one of the rooms, as well as a burial of a person with arms outstretched to his side, and remains of a rope wrapped around his knees, he added. "The mission expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures".
A more informative find has been that of a vessel containing 10kg of dried meat, which bore the inscription, "Year 37, dressed meat for the third Heb Sed festival from the slaughterhouse of the stockyard of Kha, made by the butcher luwy".
Moreover, the team found a mud seal that says "gm pa Aton" - a phrase that can be translated into "the domain of the dazzling Aten" - the name of a temple at Karnak built by King Akhenaten.
The researchers hope the discovery of the Rise of Aten will help them find out if Tutankhamun repopulated the Rise of Aten during his reign, after Akhenaten abandoned it for Amarna.
"Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it", said Hawass, a former antiquities minister. "The work will last at least 10 years, since we need to excavate the entire city, as well as the area of temples", Hawass said.
The archaeology team began excavating in September 2020, and have now found entire neighborhoods.