US News a louxor, a city of craftsmen over 3,000 years
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workshops, ovens, brick walls, pottery and jewelry: the city of craftsmen linked to King Amenhotep III dating from more than 3,000 years, was presented Saturday to La Presse by the Egyptian authorities wishing to promote cultural tourism .
"We found a portion only of the city," said AFP Zahi Hawass, Archaeologist and former Minister of Antiquities, Saturday morning in the midst of the ruins of the ancient city located on the west shore of Nile near Luxor ( South). According to him, "the city extends towards the west and the north".
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the excavations, in the city buried under the sand for millennia, will continue a few years, said the one who has led the excavations since September 2020.
A series of clay brick walls, as well as streets passing between the constructions are now visible on the site.
"We found three main neighborhoods: one for the administration, a dormitory for the workers, and one for the industry," he said before adding that another place was reserved for the production of dried meat.
Among the other discoveries, Mr. Hawass cites "a place for sewing, for the manufacture of sandals", as well as "mussels for amulets" and small statues.
Archaeologists also found a "large gold covered fish" that may have been venerated, according to Mr. Hawass.
According to the archaeologist, accustomed to handling the hyperbole, it is the "most important discovery since that of the Tutankhamun's grave" in 1922.
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sometimes accused by his peers to be a businessman megalomaniac and miss From scientific rigor, Mr. Hawass defends himself by spreading his past archaeological discoveries, which he judges "major".
- Promotion of tourism -
for its part, José Galan, the head of the Spanish mission of Dra Abu El-Naga, near the site of the ancient city, recognizes that it is a "fantastic discovery" .
"We are more accustomed to discoveries related to temples and graves (...) and not so much related to human installations," says the Spanish archaeologist.
However, according to him, the discoveries must be analyzed. "It's still too early to draw conclusions."
According to archaeologists, the city discovered dates from King Amenhotep III, arrived on the throne in 1.391 before our era, and whose palace is nearby. The dating has been established thanks to seals affixed to pottery. The city is also linked to God Aton.
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"It's not just a city, we can also see economic activity, workshops, ovens," said AFP Mostafa Waziri, the Secretary General of the General Council of Egyptian antiques.
The discovery had been announced from Thursday in a statement by the archaeological mission.
Egypt, which seeks to bring back tourists after years of instability, had already highlighted last week its archaeological heritage by organizing in Cairo a highly mediated parade of Pharaoh mummies.
and January, the authorities had unveiled the public about fifty old sarcophagi of more than 3,000 years. These "treasures" had been discovered in Saqqara, about fifteen kilometers south of the famous Pyramids of the Guizeh Plateau.
Several archaeologists whose Egyptian Tarek Faragan claimed that the area in which was made the discovery had been searched more than 100 years ago, and that the city in question had been discovered there.
according to MM. Waziri and Hawass, previous excavations a hundred years ago, did not go to the same place, but further south.
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