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Statues of Sekhmet discovered at the Temple of Amenhotep III in Egypt

 

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A group of 8 statues of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet have been discovered by members of “The Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project” directed by Hourig Sourouzian.

In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet was originally the warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing for Upper Egypt, when the kingdom of Egypt was divided.

Ministry of Antiquities
Ministry of Antiquities

She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath formed the desert. She was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare.

Sekhmet is also a Solar deity, sometimes called the daughter of the sun god Ra and often associated with the goddesses Hathor and Bast. She bears the Solar disk and the uraeus which associates her with Wadjet and royalty.

Constructed of black granite, the statues represent the lion-headed goddess either standing or seated on a throne and holding a symbol of life in her right hand.

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Beside the divine statues the team also discovered the middle part of a headless royal statue in black granite, representing Amenhotep III standing upright and wearing a jubilee cloak.

Many similar statues of Sekhmet have been discovered in the temple complex of Amenhotep III during past seasons in proximity of the large peristyle court and the hypostyle hall. Two similar statues discovered in the temple a century ago are now kept in the Egyptian Museum.

Once the statues are preserved, proposals are to place them on display in the temple when the site is opened to visitors.

 

MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
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