3. The Temple of Dendur Was Not Originally Beige
In December 2015, The Met Museum Media Lab painted the Temple with light. To give an idea of what the Temple of Dendur would have looked like during the Roman Period, bright colors were projected onto a scene on the south wall. Knowing that temples in Egypt and the Ancient World were often painted vividly, the Media Lab began research for this project by looking at remnants of the temple itself using visible-induced luminescence (VIL) imaging. Due to 2000+ years of erosion, however, no clues as to its colorful history were found.
Instead, the lab used a survey of the Temple from 1906 and surveys of other temples from the 19th and 20th centuries to find the right colors. The team also conducted an analysis of other painted objects in the Met Museum collection to understand what the color palette would have been.