An ancient “industrial area” full of royal artifacts has been uncovered in northern African country of Egypt, an official statement said.
Archaeologists working at the Luxor Valley of the Monkeys in southern Egypt said the place used to be known for producing ornaments, furniture and pottery for royal tombs. All the artifacts are believed to date back to Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty, which spanned from around 1539 B.C to 1292 B.C.
They discovered 30 workshops and a large kiln to fire ceramics, an official statement noted.
Archeologist Zahi Hawass told the CNN: “Each workshop had a different purpose. Some were used to make pottery, others to produce gold artifacts and others still to manufacture furniture.”
The team discovered inlay beads, silver rings and golden foil — items that were commonly used to decorate the wooden coffins of Egypt’s ancient royalty. Hawass pointed out that some of the artifacts depicted the wings of Horus, a deity associated with death and resurrection.
“This is unprecedented,” Hawass further stated in a statement.
“Up until now, everything we knew about the (Luxor region) came from the tombs themselves, but this new discovery will allow us to shed a light on the tools and techniques used to produce the royal coffins and the furniture placed in the tombs.”
The newly discovered site stretches around 75 meters (246 feet) down the valley.
This is the first time, according to Egyptian Archeologists, that workshops making funerary ornaments on an “industrial scale” have been uncovered in Egypt, adding it will help provide further insight into the lives of the laborers who worked there.
“We found storage rooms used to hold water and food, as well as a water tank from which the workers would drink,” Hawass, who led the discovery team, remarked.
Over 3,000 stones were excavated “to be able to access” the site, he said.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, the team has been researching areas around the valley since December 2017.
The archeologists are hoping to discover royal tombs including those of Egyptian queen Nefertiti and her daughter Ankhsenamun, the widow of Tutankhamun. The team is also looking to unearth the burial sites of King Amenhotep I, King Tuthmose II and Ramses VIII, three prominent pharaohs, the CNN report added.
“I believe we are very close to finding an intact royal tomb,” said Hawass.