Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ancient Warrior Goddess Statues Unearthed In Egypt

My friend Mark Kraynak alerted me to this... Apparenty archeologists discovered six statues of the lion-headed Egyptian war goddess Sekhmet in the southern city of Luxor.

According to the article "The team found the artifacts in the Kom Hitan area on the location of the 18th dynasty (1580-1314 BC) temple of pharaoh Amenhotep III on the west bank of the Nile..."

The statues were made of black granite and each shows Sekhmet seated on a throne holding the key of life.

I have to admit I'm not that familiar with Sekhmet... I've just never been that drawn to Egyptian mythology. But a quick scan through her entry in my copy of Merlin Stone's Ancient Mirrors Of Womanhood, tells me that at one point the goddess Hathor became angry when Ra told her that the men had gone to the mountains to plot against him. In her anger at this betrayal she turned into the goddess Sekhmet--the protective lion-goddess... Sekhmet easily defeated the conspirators but as she did so she began to enjoy the taste of blood. Her wrath seemed to know no bounds. In an attempt to placate her, Ra mixed red ochre with barley beer and spilled it on the ground. Thinking that it was blood, Sekhmet lapped up enough beer that she became so drunk she returned to her original form, the gentle Hathor.

According to Wikipedia, "In order to placate Sekhmet's wrath, her priesthood felt compelled to perform a ritual before a different statue of her on each day of the year, leading to it being estimated that over seven hundred statues of Sekhmet once stood in the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, on the west bank of the Nile. It was said that her priests protected her statues from theft or vandalism by coating them with anthrax, and so Sekhmet was also seen as a bringer of disease, to be prayed to so as to cure such ills by placating her."

So it seems these six statues (along with the other 24 uncovered at the site thus far) are really just the first of the 700 presumably buried at the temple.

I just love it when archeology verifies mythology....


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home