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(CNN) — Archaeologists working in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor have uncovered a complete 1,800-year-old Roman city.
Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the city dated back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, and described it as “the oldest and most important city found on the eastern bank of Luxor.”
“A complete residential village was discovered, with two pigeon towers found for the first time,” Waziri announced Tuesday, in a video posted on Twitter.
These towers served as nests to in which to raise carrier pigeons, Waziri explained. The birds would then be used to transport messages to other parts of the Roman Empire.
The excavation unearthed a cache of ancient artifacts.
Egyptian Ministry of Tourism & Antiques/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
The excavations, which began in September, also uncovered a hoard of tools, pots and bronze and copper Roman coins. The uncovered city was found in Luxor, a modern-day city that sits on the banks of the Nile and is the site of Thebes, the famous ancient Egyptian city.
Luxor is home to the world-famous Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Waziri praised the discovery as a rare find in an already “excellent” season. Luxor has long been a site rich with archaeological finds, and the latest discovery of this ancient city follows the uncovering of a number of tombs in January alone.
The latest flood of discoveries comes ahead of the long-awaited opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo later this year. The museum will display many of the country’s ancient riches, in what the Egyptian Ministry for Tourism and Antiquities hopes will be a boost to the sector following the Covid-19 pandemic.
CNN’s Mostafa Salem contributed reporting.