Rare Egyptian depiction of Babylonian zodiac introduced by Greeks previously undocumented but now restored at Esna in Luxor

“Visitors to the temple will be able to admire the uncovered Zodiac on the ceiling of the temple’s Hypostyle Hall after years of being hidden by thick layers of soot, dirt and other matter. After five years of cleaning and restoration work, the joint Egyptian-German mission uncovered a bright and colourful astronomical representation of the ancient Egyptian night sky. The relief contains all the twelve Zodiac signs, the outer planets of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, as well as depictions of the so-called seven arrows and constellations used by the ancient Egyptians in time measurement. Dr Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the colourful reliefs also depicted deities, animals, names of divine figures and composite beings, including a ram-headed serpent and a crocodile-headed bird. ‘It is the first time to see these inscriptions and reliefs in Esna Temple,’ said Dr Hisham El-Leithy, Undersecretary of State for Documentation in the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt and director of the restoration project’s Egyptian side.” “these findings were not recorded by the temple’s previous publication by late French Egyptologist Serge Sauneron, who documented the temple’s reliefs in 1963 and 1975.” “the Zodiac itself was part of Babylonian astronomy that was likely introduced by the Greeks who ruled Egypt during the last three centuries BC. The Zodiac became very popular as it was used to decorate private tombs, sarcophagi, and was an important element of astrological texts and horoscopes on demotic ostraca. Zodiacs are, however, rare in ancient Egyptian temples. Apart from the Temple of Esna, there are only two other Zodiacs from Dendera: one in the pronaos and the other in one of the roof chapels which has since been relocated to the Louvre in Paris. Besides Dendera, visitors to Egypt can now see these Zodiacs in their different forms and colours at Esna’s temple”—”In Photos: Egypt’s first complete Zodiac uncovered in Luxor’s Temple of Esna – Ancient Egypt – Antiquities – Ahram Online

Hermetic Library Omnium Rare Egyptian Depiction of Babylonian Zodiac Introduced by Greeks Previously Undocumented but Now Restored at Esna in Luxor 27mar2023