Egypt unveils 18th dynasty industrial zone in Luxor
LUXOR, Egypt, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Renowned Egyptian Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced on Thursday the unearthing of first ancient industrial zone in Egypt, which dates back to the 18th Dynasty from 1549/1550 to 1292 BC.
At a press conference, Hawass said the industrial area was discovered in the West Valley, also known as the Valley of the Monkeys, in west of Luxor province.
Inside the industrial zone, excavators found a huge storage pit, an oven to burn pottery, a water tank, a special ring that belonged to King Amenhotep III, wings of a statue of the God Horus, hundreds of inlay beads and golden objects which were used to decorate royal coffins, said Hawass.
An Egyptian team, headed by Hawass with 120 workers and five specialists, has been working inside the Valley of the Monkeys since December 2017, Hawass said.
The team originally started the excavation in the Valley of Kings, that compromises the Valley of Monkeys, to search for the tombs of Queen Nefertiti and Ankhsenamun, her daughter and widow of Tutankhamun, the famous Egyptologist told Xinhua.
Hawass said it's the first time for an Egyptian excavator to work in the West Valley.
He admitted he was first afraid to excavate in that valley which he called as "a noisy valley," because it's full of rocks and sand which made it very difficult to work there.
The Egyptian team started digging at the location in 2010, but the work stopped in 2011 for security reasons and resumed in 2017, he noted.
"Archeology is a science that needs passion, love and believe," Hawass pointed out.
During the excavation, Hawass' team was tracing the flood routes, noting that ancient Egyptians would never build their tombs beside water.
Another crucial discovery is the uncovering of 30 workshops for manufacturing furniture, gold, pottery, clothes and metals which date back to the 18th dynasty.
The team is working near the tomb of Ramses VII, tomb of Hatshepsut, and tomb of Ramses III and behind the tomb of Merenptah, the son of Ramses II.
It also excavated the surroundings of the tomb of Tutankhamun, and found many important objects including the tools that ancient Egyptians used to construct a royal tomb.
Items found at the cemetery included the remains of onions, garlic, doom palm, linen, and animal bones, as well as a wooden holder that was used to pull the funerary furniture inside the cemetery.
Hawass expressed his happiness that an Egyptian archeological mission for the first time discovered a tomb, adding there are 64 tombs discoveries in Egypt, all by foreigners.
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany said that there are still tombs of famous queens and kings that aren't discovered yet.
"Today's discovery might not reveal the tomb of a king or a queen, but it's a small nucleus in a big body that will lead to series of discoveries," the minister added.
Ali Farouq, 52, head of the workers on the site, said the discoveries were like his kids who grow up day by day from the date of digging until displaying them in famous museums.
Working at the archeological site for more than 37 years, Farouq said he felt honored when new discoveries were found after hard work.