April 04, 2023
An Egyptian-German archaeological mission working at the Temple of Esna in Luxor have uncovered a beautiful astronomical mural depicted on the temple ceiling. The team spent the last five years doing restoration work throughout the temple, clearing thick layers of soot and dirt that were covering the zodiac scenes.
The scenes include the 12 zodiac signs, reliefs of planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, constellations used to measure time, varies deities and composite figures such as a crocodile-headed bird and a ram-headed snake, and a variety of animals.
This new discovery is very important as this is the 2nd example of a complete zodiac from ancient Egypt, the 1st being the zodiac from the Temple of Hathor at Dendera.
The Temple of Esna dates to the Greco-Roman Period and is dedicated to the ram-headed god Khnum. Initial construction of the temple started in 186 BCE and it took around 400 years to finish at 250 AD.