Whether it involves searching caves or excavating treasure, archeology is frequently thought of as a quest. But learning about and conserving the past requires a great deal of conservation. Over the past five years, an Egyptian team of archaeologists has been on a cleaning mission. The team has been cleaning the Temple of Esna's ceiling to uncover amazing ink inscriptions that were previously obscured by soot, dirt, and bird droppings. Among these is a magnificent scene depicting the sky god, Orion, Sirius, and Anukis, the Egyptian gods, on boats for the New Year.
Egypt's Temple of Esna is located to the south of Luxor. The vestibule, or pronaos, was constructed during the Roman era under Emperor Claudius (41–54 CE), and it is the portion that is still standing. It is 20 meters (65.6 feet) wide, 15 meters (49.2 feet) high, and 37 meters (88.6 feet) long. It is made of sandstone. The precise deity to whom the temple was dedicated is unknown, but additional wall cleaning might provide insight. Though it took the 30-person team five years to find the ceiling, answers might come slowly. University of Tübingen in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on the project, released a statement and added that the soot has receded across “hundreds of figures and astronomical representations, revealing them once more in their original colours.”
There are seven themed sections on the ceiling. One of the panels features Orion portraying Sothis, also known as Sirius, in a scene from the New Year. Professor Christian Leitz of the University of Tübingen said, "Sirius is invisible in the night sky for 70 days a year until it rises again in the east." "In ancient Egypt, that day marked both the start of the annual Nile floods and New Year's Day." About a hundred days after this, the goddess Anukis, who is also pictured, caused the floodwaters of the Nile to recede. Other figures were also depicted on the ceiling, such as a "representation of the south wind as a lion with four wings and a ram's head" and a god with four ram's heads.
However, the projects is not over yet, as there is still more work to be done on the site. “The completion of the ceiling restoration marks the project’s first and perhaps most important milestone,” Professor Leitz said. “In the next few years, we want to focus on removing soot from the interior walls of the Pronaos and the remaining columns.”