Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

3,000-year-old lost city unearthed in Egypt

Archaeologists searching for King Tutankhamen's mortuary temple made an even bigger discovery, as they unearthed Aten, a 3,000-year-old lost city believed to have been founded by King Amenhotep when he ruled ancient Egypt.

Betsy Bryan, an Egyptology professor at Johns Hopkins University who participated in the archaeological mission, said in a statement this could be the most "important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamen" was found in 1922. She added that it will "give us a rare glimpse into the life of ancient Egyptians" during a time of great wealth.

In September, archaeologists started a dig in Luxor between the temples of King Ramses III and Amenhotep III, on the hunt for the mortuary temple. After a few weeks, to the "great surprise" of the team, "formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions," the mission said in a statement. "What they unearthed was the site of a large city in good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life."

To date the settlement, the team looked at hieroglyphic inscriptions etched on pottery, scarabs, rings, wine vessels, and mud bricks. They have found houses, tombs, a bakery, a workshop containing molds used to make ornaments and amulets, and a cemetery. These spaces have been "untouched for thousands of years," the mission said, "left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday."