27 statues of the goddess Sekhmet were unearthed in Egypt

Black granite statue representing the goddess Sekhmet, discovered in Luxor (Upper Egypt).
Black granite statue representing the goddess Sekhmet, discovered in Luxor (Upper Egypt). CREDITS: SUPREME COUNCIL OF ANTIQUITIES

Statues depicting Sekhmet, the Lioness deity, were unearthed near the Colossi of Memnon, Luxor, Egypt.

A collection of 27 fragmented statues of Egyptian goddess with a female body and lioness head Sekhmet was found near the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor (center), announced Sunday, December 3, 2017, the Ministry of Antiquities.

This discovery took place during an excavation carried out by an Egyptian-European archaeological mission, as part of the project of preservation of the „temple of millions of years“ of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III(Amenophis, in Greek). The largest funerary temple of ancient Egypt erected to the glory of this ruler of the New Kingdom (1540-1070 BC) father of Akhenaton and grandfather of Tutankhamun.

As every year at the same season, the excavations began on November 7 and lasted until the end of the month, told AFP Hourig Sourouzian, the German archaeologist who leads the mission.

Some of these statues depicting the goddess Sekhmet are in good condition

According to Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, some statues depict the goddess Sekhmet „sitting on the throne, holding the symbol of life ankh in her left hand, or standing and holding the scepter of papyrus in front of her chest“, the ministry statement said. „The state of conservation of the statues is variable,“ said Hourig Sourouzian. Some found buried in thick layers of alluvium, are in good condition. These statues are carved in black granite and sometimes measure up to two meters, according to Mostafa Waziri.

Warrior goddess with lioness head personifying the destructive force of the sun, an instrument of the revenge of the god Re, the solar disc creator of the universe, Sekhmet was feared by her enemies for her devastating power.

To date, 287 statues of Sekhmet have been exhumed since the beginning of the excavations of this exceptional royal temple (Amenophis) companies since 1998. They originally adorned the vast peristyle room giving access to the Holy of Holies, the naos where was the statue of the god-pharaoh.

The ruler of the XVIII dynasty, chose the western bank of the Nile, at the foot of the Theban mountains for his name to be exalted in his lifetime and guaranteed eternal life. In recent years, several colossi with the effigy of the pharaoh have also been uncovered along with the statues of Sekhmet. Some reaching up to 18m high. Luxor, a city of half a million inhabitants on the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt, is home to the archaeological remains of the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes.