Color enhanced Derwent pencil drawing technique on mylar developed for the Small Amun Temple at Medinet Habu

May 24, 2020

To learn about how documenting in color was resurrected at Medinet Habu, click here.

The temple of Amun Ḏsr-s.t at Medinet Habu, extensively modified over the course of its long history, shows many stages of inscribed decoration, and the Epigraphic Survey has taken pains to record these in such a way as to reflect the distinct stylistic features of each phase. ⠀ ⠀

The Chicago House method of epigraphic documentation permits these varying styles of relief and inscription to be shown with great precision. Yet for recording the painted decoration that originally covered and served as the final surface of these inscribed walls, the traditional facsimile line drawing presents significant limitations. ⠀ ⠀

The dotted lines normally employed by the Survey to indicate painted features are often sufficient only to suggest the basic outline or pattern, lacking the subtlety needed to capture the many fine details of the original painted finish. Since the carved relief and the painted decoration were both integral to the overall decorative scheme of an Egyptian monument, the former serving in effect as a three-dimensional underpinning for the latter, and since the painted decoration of the ambulatory and façade of the 18th Dynasty temple, like the carved surfaces thereof, underwent several iconographically significant stages of modification over time, the evidence of these being well preserved in many places, it has proven necessary to develop additional recording techniques whereby these pigment layers can be documented in a manner appropriate to their importance. ⠀

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