Cairo, March 12 : A team of German archaeologists has found 14 statues of Sekhmet, the ancient Egyptian goddess of war and destruction, dating from no later than 1372 B.C., the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry announced.

The statues were discovered while excavating the funerary temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned from 1410-1372 B.C., in the Kom al Hitan zone in Luxor, 700 km south of Cairo, the ministry said in a communique.

Experts differ in their opinions as to why the pharaoh ordered the statues carved.

While some say that Amenhotep III accorded great importance to the goddess of war and that he had the statues sculpted to provide divine protection for himself, others feel that the ruler believed in the curative powers of the divinity and ordered the statues made because he was suffering from an illness.

Each figure measures 2 meters high and shows the lion-headed goddess - albeit with the body of a woman - seated on a throne.


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