Frescoes Uncovered of Nekhbet and Wadjet


From the article:  "These vibrantly colored ceiling frescoes were discovered by German and Egyptian scholars in the Temple of Khnum in Esna, Upper Egypt. Professor Christian Leitz from the University of Tübingen says that the reliefs in the middle of the ceiling show 46 images of the Upper-Egyptian vulture goddess Nekhbet and the Lower-Egyptian snake goddess Wadjet.  Both have outspread wings and are represented as vultures. Wadjet is distinguished by the Lower Egyptian crown capped with a cobra, while Nekhbet has a vulture’s head and the white crown of Upper Egypt... 

“Temples and ancient depictions of the gods were often painted in brilliant colors,” adds Leitz, “but these have usually faded or even disappeared totally as a result of external influences.” The colors in the Temple of Khnum at Esna have been covered in dirt and soot for about 2000 years, which has helped to preserve them. Experts were previously unaware of the beauty of the color employed in portrayals of the “Two Ladies,” Nekhbet and Wadjet, which has now been disclosed.  

“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,” adds Tübingen scientist Dr. Daniel von Recklinghausen, “The temple’s complete range of images is unique in its wealth of figures and the state of preservation of the colors.” A crew led by Ahmed Emam has cleaned, conserved, and recorded more than half of the ceilings and eight of the 18 columns. In addition, the middle section of the ceiling’s two architraves – horizontal beams that support the superstructure – have been cleaned of soot. “For the first time we can see all the decorative elements in relation to one another,” adds Christian Leitz."

(© photo Ahmed Amin / MoTA)