Ancient zodiac paintings on Egyptian temple see the light of day after 2,200 years

Gorgeous zodiac paintings decorating the roof and walls of the 2,200-year-old Temple of Esna in southern Egypt have been revealed during a restoration project that’s clearing away two millennia’s worth of grime, soot and bird poop, researchers announced March 20. 

Restorers painstakingly cleaned the zodiac artworks, many of which were painted onto the temple’s ceiling. Other restored images include depictions of the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, as well as images of stars and constellations used by the ancient Egyptians to help measure time, researchers said in a statement (opens in new tab). The team also conserved ancient images of snakes, crocodiles and hybrid creatures, such as a snake with a ram’s head. 

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