Archaeologists identify birds from ancient Egyptian fresco

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History examined an ancient Egyptian fresco from Amarna and were able to determine the species of birds depicted on it.

The age of the fresco was estimated at 3,300 years, according to Antiquity.

The fresco was discovered during excavations in the former capital of Pharaoh Akhenaten (1347-1332 BC). She decorated the Green Room of the ruler’s palace.

The artwork is quite unusual in ancient Egyptian painting, as it depicts only birds against a natural landscape and no human figure.

The study showed that the majority of birds are rock pigeons (Columba livia). In addition, there are piebald kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), shrike (Lanius collurio) and white wagtail (Motacilla alba). Water lilies and papyrus plants are painted around them.

Rock pigeons and kingfishers still live in Egypt all year round. Shrikes spend the season in this country from August to November, wagtails – from October to April. Migratory birds on the fresco were marked with triangular signs.

Scientists have suggested that the Green Room of the palace was a recreation area, and the nature paintings were supposed to create a serene atmosphere.

Note that during the research, the experts had to rely on a facsimile of the fresco. The Green Room was excavated in 1923-25.

In 1926, specialists decided to strengthen the fresco with the help of sealants, but the result was the opposite – the picture became discolored and darkened.


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