Restoration Reveals Engravings in Egypt’s Temple of Esna

Luxor Esna TempleCAIRO, EGYPT—According to an Ahram Online report, Egyptian and German archaeologists have cleaned the walls and ceilings of Luxor’s Temple of Esna from dust, salts, and bird droppings, revealing images of 46 birds arranged in two rows. Mostafa Waziri of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said that it is the first time that the artworks have been seen in 2,000 years. Some of the birds have the head of the Upper Egypt goddess Nekhbet, and others have the head of the Lower Egypt goddess Wadjet. The conservators also found a Roman engraving on the western side of the temple. The construction of the building, which is dedicated to the Egyptian god Khnum and his consorts, is thought to have been started during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius, from A.D. 41 to 54, and completed by the emperor Domitian during his rule from A.D. 81 to 96. Decoration of the temple continued into the reign of the emperor Decius, from A.D. 249 to 251. To read about a New Kingdom settlement recently discovered at Luxor, go to “Golden City,” one of ARCHAEOLOGY’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2021.


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