The reconstruction of the inscriptions and decorations of the temples is one of the most important works within the whole project.

However, it is also the most complicated and laborious of all works. It is not unusual that the original wall decorations are no longer preserved or only partially visible today. Weathering, decay and deliberate destructions for various reasons are in addition to the removal of entire parts of the building material for re-use in ancient times the essential reasons, why we have today in many parts only rudimentary knowledge of the murals and inscriptions.

As for the colours, it does not look better. After more than 3,000 years, the original colours of the outdoor murals have almost completely disappeared. Climatic changes in recent decades have contributed a large share of these losses. However, the exposure of the site through the first excavations also led to losses in colour due to the neglect of weather protection. The colour sketches by Howard Carter compared to the current state of the same motifs show this clearly.

But also the traffic of visitors in today's time - with the dimensions of today's mass tourism - contributes a lot to the destructions. Especially in the closed rooms, the sanctuaries and tombs, which are protected from the normal weather, cause the moist exhalations of the visitors irretrievable losses of the gypsum and paint layers.

And lost means lost forever here.

For this reason, we decided not to colour the murals and inscriptions within this epigraphical project. And only in a few isolated places, where the colour scheme can be reconstructed absolutely indisputable, we will apply colours. This happens above all on the border elements of the murals, in the area of the wall base, the rectangular pattern strips and sky lines, as well as on corner elements and ceiling tiles. Occasionally we will also include original photos in the condition of today and watercolours of H. Carter in the wall textures. These should give a dare impression of the original colours of the murals. Well aware that within this project we can never reconstruct this colourfulness.

 

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