CAIRO – A Spanish-led archaeological mission has unearthed the walls of the temple of Pharaoh Thutmose III in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor, as part of excavation works launched 11 years ago.
The monument, referred to as the Temple of a Million Years of Thutmose III (1490-1436 BC), had been forgotten and covered in sand since the 1930s.
“It is very good news that we have finished excavating the terraces outside the perimeter walls,” Myriam Seco, leader of the excavation project, told EFE before taking part in an archeological event organized at the Cervantes Institute in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
“We have come a long way. There is still a large part to dig but the inside of the temple can be completed in a few years and we have already begun the process of placing found artifacts into a museum,” Seco added.
In 2008 the archeologist started leading the excavation project in the same Egyptian province of Luxor where Swiss archeologist Herbert Ricke gave up on finding Thutmose III’s temple in the 1930s.
Last year, two fresh tombs of one of the three necropolises were discovered and were excavated.
Among the necropolises was one where 50 lower-class people who had lived during the 11th Dynasty (2150-1990 BCE) were buried.
Their tombs were not looted as, during subsequent centuries, they never caught the attention of thieves or treasure hunters.
Seco explained that excavators had found intact clothes and linen in the necropolises which are shining a light on life in ancient Egypt.
Meanwhile, the Spanish archeologist stressed that a patio, one of the prominent areas of the temple, had been completely excavated and now was in the process of being renovated for public visitation.
The tombs located in the vicinity of the temple range from the Middle Kingdom to the Late Period of ancient Egypt, separated by about 1,300 years.
The oldest tomb has been dated at roughly three centuries before the birth of Thutmose III.
These new discoveries in 2018 provide valuable information on daily life at the temple, which, in addition to having religious functions, was an important administrative center.