More archaeological discoveries are constantly being made. One of the latest major discoveries in Egypt is the discovery of a previously unknown city in Egypt called "The Dazzling Aten" or "The Rise of Aten". This ancient city was only discovered in 2020 with publications being released the following year. It is being hailed as the greatest discovery in Egypt since the discovery of the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

It can be crazy to think that whole cities are still being discovered - as well as pyramids. If one asks how many pyramids there are in Egypt - no one really knows and new pyramids are still being discovered, there are many lesser-known pyramids. If new pyramids and whole cities are still being discovered - what else could there still be to be found in Egpyt?


The Greatest Discovery Since Tutankhamun

The Dazzling Aten or The Rise of Aten (or just Aten) is located on the west bank of the Nile in the Theban Necropolis near Luxor in southern Egypt. It is named after the Egyptian sun god Aten and is a particularly valuable find as it has more or less been left in tack for over 2,000 years.

"The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun."

Betsy Bryan, Professor of Egyptology at Johns Hopkins University

This remarkable archeological discovery was found under the sand on the western bank of Luxor. It is considered to be the largest city of its kind in ancient Egypt and is a very important discovery. The lead archaeologist Zahi Hawass stated: 

"It was the largest administrative and industrial settlement in the era of the Egyptian empire... with rooms filled with tools of daily life ... left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday..."

These tools of daily life include rings, colored pottery vessels, casting molds to make amulets, pots used to carry meat, and tools for spinning, weaving, and metal and glass-making according to CNN. In addition, there were walls 10 feet thick.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Egypt's Mystical Valley Of The kings

Age, Date, And Abandonment of Aten

The city is believed to date to at least around 1386–1353 BC during the reign of Amenhotep III. A number of precise dates for the city's history have been established thanks to a number of inscriptions found in the city. One of the inscriptions has been dated to 1337 BC.

This was at a time when the Egyptian kingdom was at one of its wealthiest times. Archaeologists describe the city as the largest administrative and industrial settlement of its time.

  • Age: Around 3,400 Years Ago
  • Pharaoh Amenhotep III: Ruled Egypt Between 1,391 and 1,353 BC

It is thought to have been abandoned after the death of Amenhotep III during his son Akhenaten's reign. A pot with an inscription was found that shows the city was still in use in 1337 BC but is thought to have been abandoned the year after that.

  • Abandoned: Perhaps In 1336 BC
  • Capital: Was Moved To Amarna 250 Miles North

The theory is that the capital was moved to Amarna 250 miles further north. The reason for moving the capital is not yet understood. This remains early days and excavations are continuing - the northern region is yet to be excavated. They have found a large cemetery and tombs at the site (like those in the Valley of Kings), but they have yet to be explored.

So far there have been four distinct settlement layers on the site long after Aten was abandoned by the ancient Egyptians. These include from the Coptic Byzantine Era and from the 3rd to 7th centuries AD.

Related: The UNESCO-Listed Luxor Temple Is An Essential Part Of Any Egypt Tour

A City Of Secrets And Future Discoveries - Watch This Space!

Archeologists had looked for the lost city at other times but had failed to find it. It was only in 2020 that the city was stumbled on while Hawass and his team were looking for the remains of the funerary temple of Tutankhamun. But they found more than his funerary temple, unearthing the greatest administrative and industrial center of that period of Egypt's history.


  • Discovered: September 2020
  • Announced: 8 April 2021

So far a number of different neighborhoods have been found formed by zigzagging mudbrick walls. Three distinct palaces have also been discovered. Some of the more remarkable discoveries include:

  • A Large Bakery: That's Still Complete with Ovens And Storage Pottery That Could Have Catered to A Large Number of People
  • A Skeleton: With Arms Stretch Out To The Side and With Rope Wrapped Around the Knees (Its Position and Location Are Odd And is Still being Investigated)
  • Walls: Walls 3 Meters or 10 Feet Thick

With excavations ongoing, there is plenty more to be learned from the latest of secrets the ancient sands of Egypt are slowly giving up.



Next: Where The Lost City Of Vilcabamba Is (And It's Not The Same As Machu Picchu)