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Wepwawet

Lost city of Amunhotep III discovered at Luxor

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Wistman

There's no denying it, a tremendous achievement for Hawass and his team.

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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)

This could fill in some gaps and rewrite the books. It could potentially have a profound impact on our knowledge, yet so far they have only uncovered a third, and it will take some time to find everything and analyse it. I hope they have several teams doing nothing but looking for the middens. What to make of a bovine burial in a house, or a skeleton in a house bound at the knees. Reminds me of the "sandlings" at Sutton Hoo.

Edited by Wepwawet
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Wistman
Posted (edited)

What a find, a huge complex from the peak epoch in near pristine condition, a pregnant source of data and artifacts.  The mind reels with anticipation!   Untouched tombs dating from the Atenist era.  May we hope to find out more of Prince Thuthmose's achievements and fate?  The goodies!

Hawass has now cemented his reputation as one of Egyptology's key figures.

 

Edited by The Wistman
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Wepwawet
20 minutes ago, The Wistman said:

What a find, a huge complex from the peak epoch in near pristine condition, a pregnant source of data and artifacts.  The mind reels with anticipation!   Untouched tombs dating from the Atenist era.  May we hope to find out more of Prince Thuthmose's achievements and fate?  The goodies!

Hawass has now cemented his reputation as one of Egyptology's key figures.

 

Let's hope that somehow a careless scribe forgot to pack some of the royal correspondence, for an equivalence of the Amarna Letters, but dealing with internal matters at this crucial time, would be unbelievable, but dare we hope for that, probably to much...

Hawass, yes, take that in the eye Great Pyramid obsessives.

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susieice
Posted (edited)

This is an incredible find. A whole Egyptian city better preserved than Pompeii. This will definitely rewrite the books on how the people lived and all of their daily activities. How the cities were laid out and how craftsmen and merchants ran their businesses. It will also greatly increase our knowledge of Akhenaten, who had been largely erased from the records and his wife, Nefertiti. This will fill in huge gaps!

Congratulations to Hawass and his team!

Edited by susieice
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susieice

They also found a cemetery north of the settlement and rock cut tombs they believe are untouched and still hold their funerary treasures. This is so exciting!

https://dailynewsegypt.com/2021/04/08/egyptian-archaeological-mission-discovers-lost-golden-city-in-luxor/

To the north of the settlement a large cemetery was uncovered, the extent of which has yet to be determined.

So far, the mission has discovered a group of rock-cut tombs of different sizes that can be reached through stairs carved into the rock. They share a common feature of tomb construction with the Valley of the Kings and in the Valley of the Nobles.

Work is underway and the mission expects to find untouched tombs filled with treasures.

 
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Hyperionxvii
5 minutes ago, susieice said:

They also found a cemetery north of the settlement and rock cut tombs they believe are untouched and still hold their funerary treasures. This is so exciting!

https://dailynewsegypt.com/2021/04/08/egyptian-archaeological-mission-discovers-lost-golden-city-in-luxor/

To the north of the settlement a large cemetery was uncovered, the extent of which has yet to be determined.

So far, the mission has discovered a group of rock-cut tombs of different sizes that can be reached through stairs carved into the rock. They share a common feature of tomb construction with the Valley of the Kings and in the Valley of the Nobles.

Work is underway and the mission expects to find untouched tombs filled with treasures.

 

I just saw a link to that, didn't have time to check it out, yet. Awesome! 

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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)

News report from the site, in Arabic, but so far this is the best view of the site. In earlier reports the wavy walls were described as "defensive", but it's very clear that they are not as they are the external walls of houses facing the street, not walls around the city. Why wavy, no idea, not the slightest as this is unique. In the video the wavy walls are discussed as the word "zigzag" is heard multiple times, and the man being interviewed seems to be explaining why the walls are wavy. The tops of the walls surrounding temple complexes, not the temples themselves, can be in a wave form, which Verner suggests represents the waters of Nun surrounding the temple, with the temple being the primeval mound, but here we see something very different and in a different setting.

 

Edited by Wepwawet
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Wepwawet

Another report from the same channel, this time with Hawass, but again only in Arabic. This short clip gives a very good close up view of these curious walls.

 

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Wistman

Thanks @Wepwawet for those two videos.

This morning on NBC, their reporter was onsite at the city showing much the same views as your first video.  However, the complete double zigzag wall from your second video has not been shown in any pics or video (at least that I've seen) other than here....I'd thought it was only a single wall.  Perhaps there's more than one section of zigzags at the site.  I suppose that's a lane that runs between them.  There seems to be some low structures set in a couple of the concave sections...curious. Hard to tell though if there's just more excavation needing to be done there.

On the morning report I saw, they joined Hawass in the tomb of Ramesses II, where he and part of his team are searching for a tunnel.  So he's got his hand in a couple places at once, even with all the press coverage over the unearthed city.

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Wepwawet
11 minutes ago, The Wistman said:

So he's got his hand in a couple places at once, even with all the press coverage over the unearthed city.

According to many comments around the web, Hawass has already stripped the site of all the gold and re-hidden "special areas" with depictions of "aliens" on the walls. If I could channel the hate into my central heating it would save me a lot of money.

But in the real world, it looks like two areas surrounded by wavy walls, and with walls within those areas also, in places, wavy, or at least rounded. I hope it's not too long before we can see aerial photos, or at least provisional plans, as I'm struggling to get my head around what we are seeing. I've been going through all my books to see if there is anything even remotley similar, and cannot find anything. Ancient Egypt is rectangle land, not groovy land, and even if, as I've seen in some suggestions, that this mirrors Akhenaten's change of styles, why is Amarna so rigidly rectangular.

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Wistman
Posted (edited)

I can recognize the section of  'Theban hills' in the background so I know pretty much where the city sits, but I can't quite get the gist of the layout and where exactly the rest of the city is that still awaits excavation.

It's hard to believe people can't lighten up for a second and give the man (Hawass) his due, let him have his triumph.  I don't particularly care for his personality, but he's done a lot of important work and made his discoveries, topped off by this one.  I guess the internet breeds this sort of unreasonableness.

Can't wait to read the field report!

eta:  My earlier post should have used the proper term, wavy wall, rather than the one being tossed around right now: zigzag, which is an inaccurate descriptor.  Last night's report on the TV said that zigzag (wavy) walls date from the end of 18th D, but I know there are others, at say Abydos, which are D12;  so I'm trying not to quote their coverage since it is bound to be a little off.  Wish I spoke Arabic, watching those videos you posted, I think good information was being spoken there at least.

Edited by The Wistman
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glorybebe

I hope they do a virtual tour of it.  I will never make it to Egypt in this lifetime,  but would love to see it on the screen

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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)

Looking at Google Earth for about an hour and looking at the videos, I tentatively suggest that the area outlined in blue may contain the site of the city, as I'm not sure where else it could be. Hawass did say that intitially they were looking for the lost mortuary temple of Tutankhamun, and it can be seen that they stretch in a line from Medinet Habu to the Ramesseum, though at the time of Tutankhamun only the temple of Amunhotep III and Thutmosis IV would have existed. Probably wasting my time as the exact location could be released at any time. Also starting to question the term "city", more like "government administration area". I would also have thought that an admin area would be next door to Malkata, which is off the map down to the SW some ways, not where this site is situated.

 

Thebes.jpg

Edited by Wepwawet
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Wistman

Despite the misleading coverage and headlines I'm seeing online, one key question seems to be whether or not the 'city' was repopulated once Tutankhamun took the throne and returned to Thebes.  @Wepwawet, I know you've explored such questions elsewhere online; any clues as to whether or not Malkata was re-inhabited post Amarna?

 

Edited by The Wistman
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Wistman

Here's a 1979 article by David O'Connor for UPenn ,

The University Museum Excavations at the Palace-City of Malkata

:

Quote

[...]  what was the nature of this royal town? The Metropoli­tan Museum had revealed the outlines of an Amun temple, several royal palaces, adjacent elite villas and traces of a work­ers’ village. Other excavators had found fragments of houses, contemporary with the ‘palace-city’ as it has been called, under later structures at Medinet Habu and behind the funerary temple of Amenhotep III’s favorite official, Amenhotep son of Hapu. These suggested that some form of urban development may have stretched from the palace-city to the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, now completely denuded but once the largest of the royal temples fronting the Theban necropolis.

 

Quote

[...]  we have shown that the palace-city continues under the cultivated fields which now intrude on much of the site; that a contemporary occupation level lay under Qasr el Agooz, near Medinet Habu; and other contempo­rary structures lay immediately northeast of the harbor. [...] Therefore, while the denser urban build-up of Amarna may not have occurred at Malkata and an extension to the funerary temple was not determined, the town remains were shown to be sub­stantially larger than the original Metro­politan Museum excavations indicated.

https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/the-university-museum-excavations-at-the-palace-city-of-malkata/

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Wistman

 

327009463_mapThebanmortuarytemples.jpg.80a43b483c758b3f8568da62e27f5d5e.jpg

So it seems the palace-city stretched from Malkata (lower left) up and underneath Ramesses III's temple at Medinet Habu, and further, behind the Colossi of Memnon, Amenhotep III's mortuary temple, presumably stretching back toward the Valley of the Queens, somewhat.

Edited by The Wistman
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Wepwawet
5 hours ago, The Wistman said:

Despite the misleading coverage and headlines I'm seeing online, one key question seems to be whether or not the 'city' was repopulated once Tutankhamun took the throne and returned to Thebes.  @Wepwawet, I know you've explored such questions elsewhere online; any clues as to whether or not Malkata was re-inhabited post Amarna?

 

Well, I'm sure that if that thread had gone on for another 900+ pages we might have got around to the aftermath, maybe...

Otherwise, the answer is yes, Malkata was re-occupied after the court left Amarna, and was occupied into at least the reign of Horemheb. As far as can be seen, Tutankhamun's court moved directly to Memphis, though would have visited Thebes, probably extensively, and Malkata is the only known designated palace complex. What I would like to know is what name was on the ring bezels of his found at Malkata. In the first instance it's more likely to be Nebkheperure, but if any of them were for Tutankhaten it would pin down at least a visit early on, and I would expect that this was so as part of the "re-Amunization" process. But, most authors just say Tutankhamun as that is the most widely used name, irrespective of if an item had his throne name or Aten name. Then there is his "Moon name", and blank stares :)

I had not seen that report you linked to before, and it's starting to look like what has been found is the far NE section of a good sized city, mostly buried now under cultivation and Medinet Habu. I was writing this as you made the post above. It does answer the question of why was not this new site at Malkata, and the answer is, it was, and went on and on for a bit...

Btw, these wavy walls are a thing I have found, though somewhat obscure, and nobody has been able to work out their precise meaning. On one hand they are put forward as quickly built and sturdy normal walls for a building, and on the other hand as "ritual". These walls at this new site are clearly not a structual part of any buildings and are free standing, so, "ritual" ?. I really have no idea.

Edited by Wepwawet
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susieice
28 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

I had not seen that report you linked to before, and it's starting to look like what has been found is the far NE section of a good sized city, mostly buried now under cultivation and Medinet Habu.

This is the beauty of the city. They can probably excavate it almost in it's entirety without having to tear down half of Cairo to do it. I don't think they can do that with Pompeii because it's under the modern city of Campania. The same with Alexandria. It boggles the mind what of the ancient city is under the modern city, but they can't go look. Same with Mexico City. Once in a while, usually during construction or a flooding rainstorm, parts of an Aztec temple or city square will be exposed and all construction must stop, but they can only go so far. The English were tearing up a parking lot in London and found King Richard III. So much is under the modern cities that archaeologists can't get to. 

This is going to answer so many questions and give an incredible record of life in Ancient Egypt. It will fill in the gaps in a period of time that is largely unknown. So much we can learn about Ankhenaton and Queen Nefertiti. Tutankhamun also. And everyday life of the Egyptian people. How they lived, how they worked, and how they worshipped. It will take a long time but the books we now have will be rewritten and so much more will be learned.

 

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Wistman
1 hour ago, susieice said:

This is the beauty of the city. They can probably excavate it almost in it's entirety without having to tear down half of Cairo to do it. I don't think they can do that with Pompeii because it's under the modern city of Campania. The same with Alexandria. It boggles the mind what of the ancient city is under the modern city, but they can't go look. Same with Mexico City. Once in a while, usually during construction or a flooding rainstorm, parts of an Aztec temple or city square will be exposed and all construction must stop, but they can only go so far. The English were tearing up a parking lot in London and found King Richard III. So much is under the modern cities that archaeologists can't get to. 

This is going to answer so many questions and give an incredible record of life in Ancient Egypt. It will fill in the gaps in a period of time that is largely unknown. So much we can learn about Ankhenaton and Queen Nefertiti. Tutankhamun also. And everyday life of the Egyptian people. How they lived, how they worked, and how they worshipped. It will take a long time but the books we now have will be rewritten and so much more will be learned.

Nor does it lie under agricultural fields. So, Amenhotep III built a huge palace within the sands of the western desert, where the mortuary temples were (including his own), the designated land of the dead; and an urban capital city was built next to the palace, to accommodate it and its activities, and to connect his big palace with his big mortuary temple, somewhat distant..  Nobody else did that.  Sometimes (as far as I know) some palatial living quarters were built attendant to a pharaoh's mortuary temple (the Ramessids), but they weren't ever again built as the principal royal palace, and there was no city built around them.  And I think those instances all postdate Malkata.  Amenhotep III was distancing himself and his government from Thebes proper, perhaps much as Louis XIV did when he built Versailles, for political and sovereign reasons. 

Memphis, the ancient capital, was also situated on the western bank of the Nile, though it is far older, and uniquely lay at the narrow foot of an escarpment, atop of which was the necropolis, so there was a clear topographical separation between the city of the living and the land of the dead in the West.  Malkata palace-city blended the city of the living within the land of the dead.  And now we see the prototype for Akhenaten's move far away from Thebes to Akhetaten, though his capital city lay on the Eastern side of the Nile, and the tombs and cemeteries were there also.  So Akhenaten blended the dead within the land of the living and next to his capital city.  He emphasized the rising sun, not the setting sun. Just thinking out loud, virtually.

A little later, post Nefertiti, Tut, and Ay, Horemheb re-embraced Amun and Thebes for reasons of state security, so he shut down the western palace and city of Malkata, and knocked down what still stood at Akhetaten.  In time Ramesses III built his mortuary temple over part of the now dead Malkata city, but otherwise it was just covered with sand.  And now we can see it, unearthed, discrete as it always was.

Prince Thutmose, where are you in all this thinking and planning?  Were you murdered for initiating this scheme for your daddy?  ;)

 

Edited by The Wistman
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susieice

It seems to me that Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye may have actually played a role with Ankhenaten's move from Amun to the Aten. Or they may have been aware of his thoughts before the split. Hawass also said they found the shops of craftsmen who made the bricks to build the temples and they had Amenhotep III's cartouche on them. So, the bricks were made by craftsmen and not slaves like so many people have always thought. 

I really want to see who they find in those rock cut tombs they found. I do so hope they are intact like they think they are.

Edited by susieice
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Wepwawet
10 hours ago, Wistman said:

Prince Thutmose, where are you in all this thinking and planning?  Were you murdered for initiating this scheme for your daddy?  ;)

 

If his tomb were to be found some questions could be answered, even if robbed and his mummy gone, and is certainly not the one found in KV35 Jc, I still hold out hope that his tomb is still to be discovered with some chance of it being intact. Only two funerary items of his have been found, the model bier and the cat sarcophagus. At face value these items say that they are from his robbed tomb, but it's not that clear cut. Both items were found at Mit Rahina, not Saqqara to the west. Mit Rahina, the name for the modern town, encompasses the site of the now destroyed temple of Ptah, and Thutmose was High and Sem priest, one of the "Triple Popes" of First Prophet of Amun at Thebes and Greatest of Seers at Heliopolis. On that other thread I laid out a little piece of research made to pin down exactly where these two items were found. Unfortunately neither the Cairo or Berlin Museums had any information other than they were found at Mit Rahina, no specific location at all, or if they were found in a tomb, not likely in the cultivated area, or any type of building used for the living, such as a storeroom. There isn't even the information, least not that I could find, to say if they were even discovered in the same spot. All I could find that does not really exist in the public domain is that the model bier was found in a miniature stone sarcophagus. In books and online you will find only the bier and no mention of the sarcophagus. Both could have been in storage waiting to go into his tomb at death, even his cat, and being found at least in the general area of the temple, and probably so due to that site being clear of housing and the rest of Mit Rahina being built over, they are storage items, like the shabti for Nefertiti. But, speculation, speculation.

And, more speculation, Thutmose as HP of Ptah, so is there some link, in an "odd things" sort of way, between his position and the Amun priesthood, Sekhmet being the wife of Ptah, and the appearance during the reign of AIII of 730 statues of Sekhmet, one for each day and night of the year, at Thebes. That a few hundred of these statues were found at the temple for Mut, and were not her in eye goddess leonine form, but actually Sekhmet, is odd-ish. What were the "bad things" that Akhenaten alludes to on the boundry stelae, is an eclipse part of the equation, what of the Moon, who knows.

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Wistman

@Wepwawet  I can't but help thinking his demise, just before the first Heb Sed festival for his father, which I believe he's known to have been working on (which, I now gather, included the building of Malkata palace, or was at least contemporaneous with) is a key to the subsequent events of the 18thD. 

From your other thread I remember learning that the Great Temple of Ptah was not shut down and cut off as Amun's had been, during Akhenaten's reign.  The significance of that is self evident, though we don't know per se the reason, lost in the cloud of conflicting forces and mystery.  But, clearly, solving the question of Prince Thutmose's fate would, in my suspicion, get us a lot closer to the apostasy of Akhenaten, and maybe even to Amenhotep's building of Malkata city. 

I'm overly anxious, and optimistic.  But maybe some clues will come with Zahi's digging.

 

Edited by Wistman
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Wepwawet
18 hours ago, susieice said:

It seems to me that Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye may have actually played a role with Ankhenaten's move from Amun to the Aten. Or they may have been aware of his thoughts before the split. Hawass also said they found the shops of craftsmen who made the bricks to build the temples and they had Amenhotep III's cartouche on them. So, the bricks were made by craftsmen and not slaves like so many people have always thought. 

I really want to see who they find in those rock cut tombs they found. I do so hope they are intact like they think they are.

There's something about him talking about rock cut tombs back from the site that's a bit sort of odd. On some of the video the Theban Hills can be seen behind this site, but also the modern-ish village. I think from memory it dates from the 19th Century. That village was built on top of tombs, and the inhabitants robbed them, and I've no doubt any in the vicinity. Hopefully though these will be new tombs, but unrobbed in that area, lucky perhaps.

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