Adding pencil texture over photo enlargements at Luxor Temple working on the Late-Roman murals

May 14, 2020

After 6 years in the making, the epigraphic documentation of the late roman murals at Luxor temple was finished last year. The frescos were created at a critical moment in the history of Egypt and the Roman Empire. ⠀⠀

Diocletian, the creator of the tetrarchic system and primary sovereign of the First Tetrarchy, had to come to Egypt to oversee a military campaign directed against the revolts threatened to destabilize the country. ⠀⠀

Once succeeded, Diocletian left a permanent military base in the temple of Amun in Thebes, heavily modifying its structure to maintain Roman authority. These modifications were carried out on multiple levels with the most notable among them being the construction of a fortified enclosure around the temple as well as the transformation of the room in front of the offering hall. ⠀⠀

Here, at the heart of the temple, the Roman builders converted the space into an imperial cult chamber by removing the columns, blocking the original doorway leading to the rooms beyond, and creating a niche in its place. ⠀⠀

They covered the Eighteenth-Dynasty reliefs of the pharaonic “chamber of offerings” with plaster and decorated the walls with frescoes in purely Roman style. A canopy supported on four granite columns was placed in front of the painted niche to serve as the centerpiece of the room.

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