Restoration & Conservation

Since the start of the project in 2008, the main concern has been the conservation and restoration of the temple structures and artefacts.

The majority of the temple’s architecture and features were constructed using the local bed rock and mud bricks.  Quarried bed rock was used to create different terrace levels, and mud bricks were used to build the containment walls, enclosure walls, the ramps and Pylon of the temple.  The main access ramp and the Peristyle Hall, Hypostyle Hall and Sanctuary area were paved with limestone and sandstone.

The temple has been greatly reduced from its original state by stone plundering following its abandonment. The temple was further damaged by archaeological excavations during the 1930’s, and has suffered erosion from the harsh climatic conditions of its desert location.

A protective layer was created above the most fragile architectural features, from materials such as mud bricks, clay mortar and straw.  This has been done to preserve the remains of the temple whilst archaeological excavation is still in progress. The original structural design, technique, dimensions and materials of the temple were respected in the construction of the protective layer.

 

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To guarantee the reversibility of the protective layer, a durable and non-biodegradable mesh was placed between the original structure and the newly applied material.  The reconstruction of the ramps, containment walls, enclosure walls and structures, with the use of perishable materials, has helped to provide experimental evidence for the detailed planning of the initial building, the development of the structure, and also its use and re-use during the different phases of the temple’s history.

Materials found at the site include blocks and fragments of limestone and sandstone belonging to the temple walls.  Less common materials include fragments of pink granite, black granite and quartzite, belonging to statues and stelae.  The state of preservation of the raised reliefs, sunk reliefs, and polychrome paintings on the decorated fragments found is generally good.  Fragments of wood and pottery were also found scattered across the site.

 

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We are currently in the process of cleaning, consolidating and joining various fragments, resulting in the complete re-fitting of some of the blocks.  As a result of this work, it may be possible to re-create the decorated walls of the chapels of the temple.