Archaeologists announced this month that they had unearthed an ancient Pharaonic city near the southern city of Luxor that dated back more than 3,400 years. The discovery came just days after 22 royal mummies were moved to a new museum in a lavish spectacle that was broadcast worldwide. In addition, the discovery of 59 beautifully preserved sarcophagi in Saqqara is now the subject of a recent Netflix documentary; a bejeweled statue of the god Nefertum was found in Saqqara; the 4,700-year-old Djoser’s Step Pyramid was reopened last year after a 14-year, $6.6 million restoration; and progress is apace on the stunning Grand Egyptian Museum, scheduled to open sometime this year. But the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the industry, and what had been expected to be a bonanza season became a bleak winter. Tourism is a crucial part of Egypt’s economy — international tourism revenues totaled $13 billion in 2019 — and the country has been eager to attract visitors back to its archaeological sites.
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES