LASER LIGHT UNCOVERS ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WALL PAINTINGS
Near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, at the tomb of Neferhotep, a high-ranking official and senior scribe, thousands of years of soot and pollution blackened the wall paintings, hieroglyphs and reliefs at this site beyond recognition. Uncovering these culturally significant works of art is a painstaking process. Even hand cleaning can prove unsuitable due to the fragile wall surface. This work requires highly skilled and knowledgeable conservationists. They must use extreme care to remove soil built-up over the millennia while preserving the delicate underlying paint and limestone surface.
In a project supported by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, three conservators from Cologne, Susanne Brinkmann, Birte Graue and Christina Verbeek, tested various methods for cleaning these challenging surfaces. Their work was done in collaboration with other conservationists, scientists, and Egyptologists. The result – they choosed the latest technology to preserve the artwork in this ancient tomb.