Medieval Egyptian scholars were fascinated withthe traces of Pharaonic antiquity evident in Luxor. But it wasn’t until the 1822 decoding of the Rosetta Stone, discovered by Napoleon’s troops north of modern-day Cairo in the Nile Delta, that the key to hieroglyphics was unlocked, and the monuments could be understood in their true historical context.
Luxor has provided a nearly permanent home to international archeological missions, and their discoveries have captivated generations, the most well-known of which was Howard Carter’s dramatic discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922. In a continually unfolding tale, amazing discoveries are being made. Some scholars predict that 70 percent of the glories of Luxor’s ancient past still lie buried beneath the sands. The hot, dry climate of Luxor, and the relative obscurity of these monuments for millennia, has given future generations a priceless gift. At a staggering distance of thousands of years, we can still experience Luxor’s grandeur through the most diverse and abundant collection of antiquities on earth. It’s an amazing legacy - some 450 tombs, a constellation of temples and other buildings, and rich inscriptions and paintings, some of whose colors are still as fresh as the day they were painted. Preserving this priceless heritage while making it accessible to millions of annual visitors is a complicated and delicate task.