Egyptian archaeologists uncover ‘complete’ Roman city

Published January 25, 2023
A VIEW of artefacts discovered in Egypt’s southern city of Luxor during excavation at a 1,800-year-old “complete residential city from the Roman era”.—AFP
A VIEW of artefacts discovered in Egypt’s southern city of Luxor during excavation at a 1,800-year-old “complete residential city from the Roman era”.—AFP

CAIRO: Egyptian archaeologists said on Tuesday they had discovered an 1,800-year-old “complete residential city from the Roman-era” in the heart of the southern city of Luxor.

The city, dating to the second and third centuries, is the “oldest and most important city found on the eastern bank of Luxor,” according to Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Archaeologists discovered “a number of residential buildings”, as well as “two pigeon towers” — a structure used to house pigeons or doves — and a “number of metal workshops,” Waziri said in a statement.

Inside the workshops, researchers found a collection of pots, tools and “bronze and copper Roman coins.” It is a rare archaeological find in Egypt, where excavations — including on Luxor’s west bank, where the famous Valley of the Queens and Valley of the Kings lie — are most commonly of temples and tombs.

In April 2021, authorities announced the discovery of a 3,000-year-old “lost golden city” on Luxor’s west bank, with the archaeological team calling it “the largest” ancient city ever uncovered in Egypt. Egypt has unveiled several major archaeological discoveries in recent years.

Critics say the flurry of excavations has prioritised finds shown to grab media attention over hard academic research.

But the discoveries have been a key component of Egypt’s attempts to revive its vital tourism industry after years of political unrest, as well as after the Covid pandemic.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023

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