A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Lioness Goddess Statues Unearthed in Egypt
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
LUXOR, EGYPT—A team led by German Egyptologist Horig Sourouzian has discovered 14 black granite statues of the goddess Sekhmet in the funeral temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Standing six feet tall, each statue depicts the half-human, half-lioness goddess sitting on a throne. The team had already excavated 64 Sekhmet statues of differing sizes at the fourteenth-century B.C. temple, which is on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor. The goddess of war, Sekhmet also played a role as a guardian, which may account for the large number of statues depicting her. According to Mohamed Ibrahim, minister of state for antiquities, some scholars "believe that king Amenhotep constructed a large number of goddess Sekhmets in an attempt to cure him of a specific disease that he suffered during his reign." The statues will soon be added to a virtual reconstruction of the funerary temple, which aims to show where all the excavated statuary would have stood in the original temple.
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