Ancient Egyptian Zodiac Paintings Were Finally Discovered After 2,200 Years

Scientists began a restoration project at the Temple of Esna, located some 485 miles from Egypt’s present-day capital, Cairo. While many of the researchers expected to make an interesting discovery, what they found was truly breathtaking. Namely, the team uncovered long-lost zodiac paintings that are more than 2,200 years old! Find out all about the captivating discovery and how it was made.

The Egyptian Zodiac Treasure

 Ancient Egyptian Zodiac Paintings Discovered After 2,200 Years
The Egyptian Zodiac Treasure

The magnificent paintings that were found decorated the roof and walls of the 2,200-year-old temple, located in southern Egypt. The labor-intensive task required researchers to thoroughly clean some 2,000 years’ worth of grime and bird droppings in order to reveal the impressive paintings.

But what has led scientists to believe that the discovered paintings depict an ancient zodiac? Well, some of the restored images had a depiction of several planets. Others contained constellations that were commonly used by the ancient Egyptians to measure time. Typical for their culture at that time, the Egyptians also painted some of their gods and goddesses, hybrid creatures with human bodies and animal heads.

What Baffled Researchers

Previous works at the Temple of Esna have revealed some of the images, as well as the zodiac. What they found baffling was that, apart from the paintings, the restoration work showed previously unknown texts.

In itself, the ancient zodiac wasn’t invented by the ancient Egyptians, it’s the Babylonians who first came up with the idea. It was adopted by the Egyptians only after the Ptolemy dynasty came to rule Egypt, which lasted from 304 B.C. to 30 B.C.

Once adopted, the zodiac was used to decorate the resting chambers of various prominent individuals. Tombs and sarcophagi had images that represented different zodiac elements.

More Revelations Are Likely to Emerge

More Revelations Are Likely to Emerge

With work still being done at the Temple of Esna, researchers still have many other things to uncover. Presently, they’re working on analyzing the found inscriptions. However, more work has to be done on the cleaned paintings to reveal just how much they can tell us about ancient astrological beliefs. What we know for sure is that the uncovered zodiac paintings are very similar to the ones we rely on today.

During a previous restoration of the temple, scientists successfully unveiled some 46 images of gods and goddesses. The temple itself, researchers say, was dedicated to Khnum, an Egyptian deity who was associated with water and fertility.

The Temple of Esna is located 37 miles south of Luxor. Researchers say it was dedicated to Khnum, an Egyptian deity associated with water and fertility.