Conserving Ancient Egyptian Art • Dominique Navarro

(Epigraphic Artist, UChicago || IL USA)

“I’ve always been interested in science and history, but my skills and training are as an artist. I started studying animals of modern, ancient, and prehistoric Egypt. And I authored and illustrated several publications working with scientific advisors to educate people on the different species of Egypt over thousands of years.

This work was not only fascinating, but also helped me pursue a career within Egyptology as an epigraphic artist, documenting ancient Egyptian art and hieroglyphs. A typical day at my job is going to the temple with a team of Egyptologists in Luxor and meticulously copying the reliefs on the walls. Ancient Egyptians were the first naturalists, so their hieroglyphs and artwork include many species of animals, birds, fish, reptiles, and plants, some of which are locally extinct in Egypt today. Having the knowledge about different species has been really important in order to understand and draw hieroglyphs and artwork accurately.

The job of an epigraphic artist is to create facsimile drawings as precisely as possible documenting art and hieroglyphs for posterity, since the temples and tombs are deteriorating rapidly from problems like climate change and tourism. These drawings take a lot of time. There are many layers of thousands of years of history we are trying to capture — it takes literally sitting inches away from the wall to study it — to find details like carved facial features or painted bird feathers in the artwork and hieroglyphs. Rather than showing all the deterioration, we focus on the details of the original artwork, something photographs cannot do. All of the drawings are published, available for free to the international community so Egyptologists all over the world can study these drawings, which is really important for preserving history. It’s been an honor to contribute to this valuable work.”

•••

Check out Dominique’s website here: http://www.dominiquenavarro.com/

And find her Amazon author website with her books here: https://www.amazon.com/Dominique-Navarro/e/B006GGU62O%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

She also contributes to this website with more epigraphic work here: https://www.digital-epigraphy.com/