This was the largest of ancient Egyptian cities and named "tehn Aten," or the dazzling Aten. It has also been dubbed the "lost golden city" that was searched for (but never found) back in 1935 by a French excavation team. Only about a third of it has been excavated so far.
The team uncovered mud bricks stamped with Pharaoh Amenhotep III's name. That helped them estimate the city was built 3,400 years ago. The city dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, one of Egypt's most powerful – and wealthiest - pharaohs, who ruled from 1391 to 1353 BC. He was the father of Akhenaten and grandfather of Tutankhamun and, most significantly, it was he who introduced his son to the Sun Disc they called the Aten.
According to one of the researchers, the city was Amenhotep III's “love letter to the god Aten.” When ancient Egyptian kings built, they would dedicate their construction to a deity and associate themselves with it - in this case, the solar deity.
Aten was depicted as the Sun Disc. Archaeologists typically associated the Aten with Amenhotep III's son, Akhenaten (whose birth name was actually Amenhotep IV), who worshipped Aten instead of the chief Egyptian god of the sun and air, Amun. This discovery shows that Amenhotep III believed in Aten too, which explains why the Pharoah named the city "tehn Aten," meaning the dazzling Aten.
What the team unearthed was the site of a large city in a good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life. The dig revealed a large number of valuable archaeological finds, such as rings and other jewellery, coloured pottery, scarab beetle amulets (pictured above) and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep III.
Several areas or neighbourhoods have now been uncovered, including a bakery, an administrative district and a residential area. The team also found wine caskets in the city and containers of dried meat from the butchers. The archaeological work continues and there is much more yet to be found, including more to the back story of the Aten.