Friday, Jul 01, 2022
Outlook.com

Egypt Successfully Restores Its Ceiling Frescoes In The Temple of Khnum At Esna

For approximately 2000 years, the colours and inscriptions of the building were covered in dirt

Restoration work of crossbeam, before and after
Restoration work of crossbeam, before and after https://uni-tuebingen.de/

Restoration projects are carried out in different parts of the world to preserve the past and not let the passage of time decay anything beautiful. A great country treasures and values its past. The best source to know about any country’s present time is past sculptors and historic notes. Keeping this in mind, researchers from the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Tubingen and the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have restored the capitals of the pillars at the Temple of Khnum in Esna in Egypt. For some 2000 years, the colours and inscriptions of the building were covered in dirt.

The researchers have been working on this project since 2018 to retrieve the painting, inscriptions and other details. Professor Christian Leitz from the University of Tubingen, also leading the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in an interview,” Temples and ancient depictions of the gods were often painted in brilliant colors, but these have usually faded or even disappeared totally as a result of external influences.”

Delving more into the history of the relics, previously, it was a vibrant-coloured ceiling fresco. In a press release, Leitz said that a total of 46 depictions of the Upper-Egyptian vulture goddess Nekhbet and Lower-Egyptian serpent goddess Wadjet were discovered. They were depicted as vultures with outspread wings. There’s a slight difference, however. Nekhbet was depicted with the head of a vulture and the white crown of Upper Egypt. On the other hand, Wadjet was depicted with a top of cobra and a Lower Egypt crown.

The flying vultures on the central section of the ceiling with the northern crossbeam behind
The flying vultures on the central section of the ceiling with the northern crossbeam behind. uni.tuebingen.de
Removing layers of dirt from the column
Removing layers of dirt from the column https://uni-tuebingen.de/

They were 'Two Ladies' which were depicted in flamboyant colours. However, this remained unknown to the experts then.  Appreciating the artefact, Tubingen scientist Dr Daniel von Recklinghausen said,” From the 1950s, the French Egyptologist Serge Sauneron systematically documented the Temple of Khnum at Esna and the paintings that were visible at that time. The temple’s complete range of images is unique in its wealth of figures and the state of preservation of the colors.”

Insight into the newly restored capitals of the pillars at Esna
Insight into the newly restored capitals of the pillars at Esna https://uni-tuebingen.de/

Out of 18 columns, more than half of the ceiling is now cleaned, documented as well as conserved by Ahmed Emam. Not just this alone, two other architraves, the horizontal beams which support the central section of the ceiling have also been restored. With the success of this project, the Tubingen Egyptologist is planning to take a large project which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), to translate all the Esna inscriptions and study their various illustrations.

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