News report | | 04-03-2022 | ±4 minutes reading time

In 2020, an ancient city was discovered below the sand in Egypt. By now it has been clarified that the city, Aten, is one of the most spectacular archaeological findings in Egypt of the last century. Aten was the capital of the Egyptian kingdom under the reign of pharaoh Amenhotep III, during what is thought to be the most prosperous era of Ancient Egypt. Read more about the details of the discovery here, and also how to go visit the excavations in Egypt with a visa.

Discover the ancient beauty of Egypt with a Visa

Egypt has suffered considerably from the Covid pandemic due to the travel restrictions that interfered with tourist visitations. Since tourism is an essential asset to the Egyptian economy, the government is trying very hard to attract the tourists back to the country.For example, by opening new archaeological museums. Meanwhile, travelling to Egypt has yet again become possible, and the British government considers it safe to do so. The visa application can be made fully online by filling out the application form, which will only take a few minutes. Applying for your visa online allows you to save time at your arrival in Egypt, allowing you to skip the process of applying for a paper visa.

Discovery of Aten in 2020

On the western shores of the river Nile, close to Luxor, they discovered the city of Aten in 2020. Archaeologists were surprised by the discovery, as they were initially searching for the tomb of Tutankhamen. The city had been preserved under the sand for millennia, and seems to have stayed in a good condition. Experts are even calling it the “Pompey of Egypt”. The find is especially significant because it was inhabited at the height of Ancient Egyptian civilisation, making the excavations an important source of information about the ordinary citizens of this era.

Archaeologists assume that Aten was founded by Amenhotep III and still inhabited during the reign of his grandson, Tutankhamen. Amenhotep was Pharaoh of Egypt from 1386 until 1349 BC, a period considered by many as the pinnacle of Ancient Egyptian civilisation. The city of Aten was presumably the largest and most important city of the kingdom at the time, which adds to the uniqueness of the discovery. The city was abruptly abandoned in 1335 BC and the kingdom’s capital was moved to Amarna. Reasons for this sudden act remain unknown, and both archaeologists and Egyptologists hope to be able to clarify the matter with this most recent discovery.

Found relics of Ancient Egypt

Aten has been preserved well enough for three meter high palace walls to have remained upright and mostly intact. Based on what has been found, archaeologists can distinguish between three areas: industrial, clerical and residential. In the residential area they mostly found ordinary objects, such as pots, jewellery, tools and kitchen essentials. In the industrial area they found a bakery with three big, well-preserved ovens. Among all findings, there were also a few unique ones, like wave patterned walls surrounding a palace, a style not often found in Egypt. They also discovered a cemetery where they expect to discover even more unusual objects. Currently, the site remains closed to the public, without any indication as to when or if it will become accessible to those who wish to visit. A large part of the findings are expected to be displayed at national museums, like the Grand Egyptian Museum, opening in late 2022. To visit these museums, European travellers need an Egypt visa. An e-visa allows you to stay in Egypt for 30 days. This is more than enough time to visit multiple museums and go sightseeing in the country.

Het is nog niet te voorzien of en wanneer geïnteresseerden Aten mogen bezoeken. Voorlopig is de locatie afgesloten voor het grote publiek. Het is echter te verwachten dat een groot deel van de vondsten in een van de vele archeologische musea van het land terecht zullen komen, zoals in het Grand Egyptian Museum dat in het najaar van 2022 zal openen. Om deze musea te mogen bezoeken, hebben reizigers uit Europa een visum Egypte nodig. Met een e-visum mag u voor een verblijf van 30 dagen naar Egypte reizen, wat meer dan genoeg tijd is om meerdere musea en bezienswaardigheden in het land te bezoeken.

More is expected to be found

Individuals who are interested in archaeology will benefit from keeping a close eye on news from Egypt, as more discoveries are expected to be made around Aten in the near future. If you want to admire the antiquities and see them for yourself, you could travel to Egypt. International travels are fully permitted, but do not forget to apply for your Egypt visa.