Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has finalized the second stage of the project to develop the Temple of Dendara in Qena.
Dr. Mostafa Waziry, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, stated that this section’s activities included the restoration and improvement of the Great Hall of Columns, Al-Ishraq Hall, and also the development of the internal and external lighting systems of the temple. He also pointed out that the efforts are still ongoing.
Mr. Abdul Hakim Al Sagheer is the Director of the Temple of Dendera. He highlighted that the conservation and restoration process included removing the dirt from the archaeological surfaces. The inscriptions were restored to their original colors and with a clear representation of the scenes and texts. It was explicitly noted that the restoration work was ongoing until it was completed in time.
The results included the restoration of the Mamisi (a Roman „House of Birth“), the most giant temple gate on the side, the colors on the ceiling of the entrance, the improvement of the straight descent path of the temple, the hall of columns, 3 cellars and also the roof of the temple.
Regarding the restoration works, Mr. Abdel Hakim Al-Sagheer noted that the Supreme Council of Antiquities started the restoration and maintenance of the temple in 2005. They stopped in 2011 and resumed in 2017 after completing the mandatory scientific and archaeological studies, and careful experimental studies use the most effective strategies and modern techniques. The temple was affected by the deterioration of the wall carvings and the colors they bear due to layers of soot rising from the fumes, thanks to several factors. These factors included the change in the state diet, the burning of wood and its use for lighting, and mud and surface organisms.
In 2019, the Ministry, in collaboration with the French archaeological delegation, began a project to open up the Temple of Dendera’s courtyard to show it as an associated open depository for the stone artifacts and parts that had been on the temple site since their discovery. They were placed on several stone terraces on the left side of the temple’s most giant entrance gate. The items that were in the Mammisi Depository (Birthplace) were also placed in the temple.
In February 2020, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities inaugurated 3 basements and a panorama (roof) in the Dendera Temple once the restoration project is completed, stressing that the gap of the panorama (top) in the Dendera Temple could be a new attraction for travelers.
The 3 cellars that were opened for the visit were among the twelve cellars that surrounded the temple. The remaining 11 cellars were closed until the restoration was completed.