March 13th, 2006


Statues of war goddess found in southern Egyptian temple

Statues of war goddess found in southern Egyptian temple
Mar 6, 2006, 14:14 GMT

Cairo - Six statues of the Egyptian goddess of war, Sekhmet, have been discovered at the Amenhotep III Temple on the West bank of Luxor, 700 kilometres south of Cairo, Egyptian experts said Monday.

Head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, Zahi Hawas, said that the statues, sculpted in dark granite, portray Sekhmet seated on a throne and holding the symbol of life. The statues, which were found in good condition, were discovered by a German excavation team.

Hawas said three of the statues were found intact and were crowned with the sun disc, while the upper part of the fourth Sekhmet statue is still covered. The fifth and sixth statues are partly conserved up to the waist raising speculation that a bust found by the mission last season would fit onto one of them.

The parts that Hawas vowed would be reassembled will be put on display in the future museum in planning.

Head of the mission Hourig Sourouzian said that this cache is the seventh to be found by their team during excavation efforts in the Peristyle Court. The six statues were spread in the northern half of the east portico of the court, where they had been buried underneath the temple ground.

The German mission had uncovered during their excavation work in the same temple 30 statues for the goddess Sekhmet, who is mainly known as the goddess of war.

Sekhmet symbolizes power, glory and aggressiveness and at the same time, she signifies the tender mother of the king.