In the deleted scenes on the Collector's Edition DVD, Joseph Staten describes and shows some of the Covenant's history. Specifically, he displays a pre-render cinematic of the Covenant Murals.

“We have this fantastic story arc that we're trying to get across and we have all this back story that we're trying to get across. And there comes a point where we look at the amount of time we have left to finish this game and we realize that we're just crazy and we're not going to be able to do all of this. So we pick our battles with what we can cut out...”

The seven murals show the seven "ages" of Covenant history. There are a number of scenes that were cut from the game that show some murals that depict the Covenant's history.

Seven MuralsSeven Murals2
1 mural

First Mural

Joseph Staten: So when you look at the first Mural you see it's a representation of the conflict between the Prophets and Elites, and this one shows the Elites function in the Covenant, which is as the enforcers.

This age is also known as the Age of Conflict. This Age may have lasted for thousands of years, because the war went on for an extremely long time, but it definitely ended with a truce, when the Prophet's told the Elites of the Forerunners.

Note the Forerunner structure behind the three Hierarchs, perhaps symbolic of the San'Shyuum's revelation of the Forerunners' existence to the Elites. It may also be a representation of the Forerunner dreadnought which played such a pivotal role in the Age of Conflict.

2 mural

Second Mural

Main article: Taming of the Hunters

The Taming of the Hunters was a period in the history of The Covenant when the Prophets and Elites used force to obtain new species/races of the Covenant. The "Taming" is when the Hunters were forced to join The Covenant. This is a progressive movement towards a new age, the Age of Conversion, though this would have been one of the shortest ages. However, it was probably recorded as an age because of its major significance.

3 mural

Third Mural

This mural clearly shows the Prophets and Elites having power over the other species as the new species of the Covenant are bowing to them. It depicts the Age of Conversion, which was the time that the Elites and Prophets incorporated the other races into The Covenant, either through conquest or religious conversion.

Notice the large unknown Covenant species in the upper-left of the group, which could possibly be a Sharquoi. Although, this has not been confirmed.

4 mural

Fourth Mural

This mural is hard to understand, yet we speculate that it is indeed the Age of Discovery, and that the mural stands for the Elites and Prophets either finding, or understanding the technology left by the Forerunners. The picture depicts a hidden sword, which could symbolize hidden technologies. The Elite's and the Prophet's hand are reaching for it together in harmony. Notice the Elites weapon in this mural, as well as in the previous murals, is a simple, almost crude, spear. In all the other murals after this point, the weapon of the Elite is replaced by the more complex Energy Sword. The reasoning behind our speculation is that in the First, Second, and Third Mural/Age of the Covenant, no Forerunner technology is found. Only very simplistic weapons like knives, and spears are shown. The Fourth Age is the turning point for the Covenant, the point in time in which technology is found. Between this age and the current 7th age, complete understanding of the technology is understood. Thus, the ability to start the Great Journey is also discovered.

5 mural

Fifth Mural

The 5th mural is not available for viewing, since it is not seen clearly on the video, yet it is believed to show the locations of each of the seven Halos. This fact likely means that while in the fourth age of the Covenant, when this group was finding the long-lost Forerunner technology scattered across the Galaxy, they discovered the existence of the Halo Array. This discovery likely led to the religious doctrine of the "Great Journey." (i.e. being transformed into a God when activating the Halos).

6 mural

Sixth Mural

After learning about the Halos and the locations, this mural depicts the races of the Covenant (in the form of Forerunner glyphs) under a glowing, activated Halo ring with an eye in the middle. This symbol may reflect the Covenant belief that the Forerunners were watching their actions, and that by activating the Halos the Covenant could achieve godlike status, following the Forerunner's footsteps. Ironically, activation of the Halo Rings would have made the Covenant much like the Forerunners: dead by their own hand.
7 mural

Seventh Mural

The last Mural shows the Elites and Prophets embarking on The Great Journey.

Note the glyph of the eye and the glowing (activated) Halo Ring similar to the one in the image seen above, and the stylized Energy Sword held by the Elite which was another example of Covenant advances at this time.

Se7en has created re-renders of them on the Bungie forums, and Bungie acknowledges them as correct, you may view them here: