Trove of statues of lion headed goddess Sekhmet found in Luxor

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A team of German archaeologists have discovered 66 statues of the lion-headed goddess of war, Sekhmet, in an excavation of a temple near the Egyptian city of Luxor.

Trove of statues of lion-headed goddess Sekhmet found in Luxor
Headless statue of goddess Sekhmet [Credit: The Colossi of Memnon 
and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project]

The discovery was made during the excavation of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, located on the western bank of the Nile where Thebes, the ancient capital of the Pharaohs, was located.

The head of the Egyptian antiquities sector, Mahmud Afifi, said the discovery happened as part of a project to restore the temple of Memnon, which commenced in 1998.

Trove of statues of lion-headed goddess Sekhmet found in Luxor
Trove of statues of lion-headed goddess Sekhmet found in Luxor
A collection of statues depicting goddess Sekhmet in situ [Credit: The Colossi of Memnon 
and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project]

The two large statues, representing Pharaoh Amenhotep III, are the only remaining pieces of the temple, which collapsed in an earthquake in the 8th century BC.

The statues of the Egyptian goddess were discovered during excavations in the area between the courtyard and the column room in the temple.

Trove of statues of lion-headed goddess Sekhmet found in Luxor
The statue of goddess Sekhmet sitting [Credit: The Colossi of Memnon 
and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project]

The leader of the German mission, Hourig Sourouzian, said some pieces found are of the goddess sitting, and others of her standing and holding the symbol of life and a sceptre in the form of papyrus, according to the statement.

He confirmed they are well preserved and are of high artistic, scientific and archaeological value because they represent a complete image of the temple.

Trove of statues of lion-headed goddess Sekhmet found in Luxor
Amenhotep III statue upon discovery in his temple in Luxor [Credit: The Colossi of Memnon 
and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project]

King Amenhotep III from the 18th dynasty of Egypt, placed in his funerary temple numerous statues of the powerful Sekhmet to protect the temple from danger and the king from disease. She is also the goddess of healing.

Source: EFE [March 08, 2017]

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