Egyptian archaeologists working in the historic city of Luxor have unearthed a residential city dating back to Roman rule of Egypt (30 BCE — 640 CE), the country’s highest antiquities authority announced on Tuesday.
The find, on the eastern bank of Luxor’s stretch of the Nile near the city’s famed eponymous temple, marks the first time that a complete ancient city has been unearthed in Egypt.
The dig was conducted near the grounds of Yassi Andrawos Palace, a Luxor landmark that once belonged to an Egyptian aristocrat who served as a leader during the 1919 uprising against British occupation.
The unearthed city is believed to have been an extension of the ancient city of Thebes, according to a statement by Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Thebes was one of the largest and most prominent cities in ancient Egypt on whose remains modern day Luxor now sits.
Among the finds were the remains of several homes and two pigeon-housing towers that the team believes date back to the second or third century CE, according to the council’s statement.
Inside the pigeon towers, excavators found the remains of ceramic vessels that they believed were used as makeshift nests for the pigeons, according to Dr Fathy Yassin, Director General of Antiquities of Upper Egypt.
The remains of several workshops for the manufacture and smelting of metals were also unearthed. Found within the workshops were a number of pots, water kettles, flasks, pottery and Roman coins made of copper and bronze.
The dig that resulted in the discovery of the city began in September 2022, according to the statement. Previous excavations in the area before then unearthed a number of Byzantine relics, more Roman coins, a part of a wall and an old storehouse dating back to the Roman period.
Mr Waziri praised the work of Egyptian archaeological missions this year, adding that more digging would be done on the site as it is believed that more relics are in the area, waiting to be found.