The History Blog Site” Blog Site Archive” Color brought back to temple of Esna


The temple of Esna is a Greco-Roman period Egyptian temple embellished primarily in the Roman period (1st-3rd century A.D.). Just the pronaos (the front vestibule) of the temple endures today; the rest was lost in the Middle Ages.

The temple remains in Esna, 60 kilometers south of Luxor in Egypt. Just the vestibule (called the pronaos) stays, however it is total. At 37 meters long, 20 meters large and 15 meters high, the sandstone structure was positioned in front of the real temple structure under the Roman Emperor Claudius (41-54 ADVERTISEMENT) and most likely eclipsed it. The roofing is supported by 24 columns, the capitals of the 18 free-standing columns are embellished with various plant concepts. “In Egyptian temple architecture this is an outright exception,” states Tübingen Egyptologist Daniel von Recklinghausen.

The deal with the fancy decors most likely used up to 200 years. The temple of Esna is well-known for its huge ceiling and particularly for the hieroglyphic engravings. They are thought about to be the most current meaningful hieroglyphic text corpus that has actually been maintained today and which explains the spiritual concepts of the time and the cult occasions at the website.

Its place in the middle of the town hall most likely added to the truth that the vestibule was maintained and was not utilized as a quarry for structure products as other ancient erections were throughout the industrialization of Egypt. Undoubtedly, the temple had actually entered into the modern-day city. Homes and shacks were constructed straight versus a few of its walls, in other locations it extended from a mountain of debris, as can be seen on postcards from the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the very first half of the 19th century, the hall served briefly as a storage facility for cotton.

The engravings were studied and recorded in the 1960s and 1970s by French Egyptologist Serge Sauneron, however the temple was so caked in thick layers of soot, dirt and bird poop that photography was considered an unneeded luxury when the engravings were released. In 2018, a joint project of Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and the University of Tubingen’s Institute for the Cultures of the Ancient Orient was released with the goals of assisting in the cleansing and preservation of the temple and doing a complete photographic paperwork of the engravings and ornamental components once the layers of grime obscuring the initial polychrome paint are gotten rid of.

The outcomes have actually been a discovery. The cleansing exposed iconographic functions– a wedjat-eye slowly exposed in phases representing the stages of the moon, brand-new Egyptian constellations, information of clothes, engravings rendered in paint instead of sculpted in relief so Sauneron never ever understood they existed. The painted engravings on the huge ceiling record the name of formerly unidentified Egyptian constellations. The cleansing of a column capital exposed elaborate representations of grapevines and date palms that stand out for their verisimilitude and for the info they supply of the temple’s initial color design– red, yellow, green, blue.

The remediation task continues even under the looming shadow of COVID. When a brand-new area is cleaned up, it is photographed and recorded.

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