Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Egyptian-German Joint Mission Uncover Inscriptions, Colors in Esna Temple

Fri 13 May 2022 | 11:39 PM
Ali Abu Dashish

The joint Egyptian-German archaeological mission working in the Esna Temple succeeded in revealing the inscriptions, images, and colors on the ceilings and walls of that temple for the first time, after completing its restoration and cleaning works within the temple restoration project.

Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the restoration and cleaning resulted in the uncovering of original and bright inscriptions and colors located under the middle ceiling above the entrance to the temple located at a height of 14 meters. Nekhbet, the goddess of Upper Egypt from the Cape.

Paintings show 46 eagles aligned in two rows as 22 of these eagles have cobra heads and represent Wagit, the goddess of Lower Egypt.

Dr. Waziri pointed out that no drawing or picture of this ceiling appeared before, in the previous scientific publication of the French Egyptologist Serge Sonron who recorded the inscriptions of the temple between 1963 and 1975.

Dr. Hisham El-Leithi, head of the Central Administration for the Registration of Egyptian Antiquities and head of the archaeological mission from the Egyptian side, added that the temple’s colorful inscriptions had suffered over the past centuries from the accumulation of thick layers of soot, dust, and dirt, in addition to the droppings of birds and bats, spiders’ cobwebs, as well as salt calcifications, which were left by factors of time has been nearly 2000 years.

The pollutants necessitated the preparation of a restoration and development project for the temple to preserve it and its unique and distinct inscriptions, and to preserve this unique monument from the Roman era. This project was funded by the American Research Center in Egypt.

On his part, Ahmed Imam, director of the restoration team, said that while cleaning the western wall frieze in the axis of the temple, the restoration team found a Greek inscription drawn in red ink that was completely covered under black soot.

Imam noted that preliminary studies of this text suggest that it dates back to the period of Emperor Domitian (81). -96 AD), where the inscription records the day and month (Epiphi 5), which corresponds to the reign of Domitian at the end of June or beginning of July, and it is likely that this was the time when the construction of the Temple of Esna was completed.

Translated by Ahmed Moamar