The Tutankhamun Exhibit
Statues, Sculptures and Containers
Seated Statuette of Leonine Goddess
Among the traditional deities restored during the reign of Tutankhamun was the goddess Sekhmet. This figure was among the twenty-seven that were stored in several boxes in the Treasury. Carved of wood, they were covered with gesso, smoothed and gilded. The eyes and noses have inlays of colored glass. The goddess has the body of a human female, but the head of a lioness. She wears a wig commonly used during the New Kingdom, and there is a solar disk atop her head. The pattern of her floral collar is visible only between the frontal part of her wig; the straps of her empire-waist gown are indicated just below the collar. The garment she wears represents the classic dress with applied beaded netting. The throne on which she sits is typical for both royal and divine figures of the New Kingdom. The plants symbolic of Upper and Lower Egypt are in relief on a panel on the side, and the whole is covered in a feather pattern.
Sekhmet, whose name means "Powerful One", was primarily regarded as a war goddess. In a funerary text, she is the protectress of several groups of foreigners. The Memphite triad of which she was part included the gods Ptah and Nefertem; they are also represented in the tomb. Along with her husband, Ptah, she destroyed the enemies of the sun god and of the king who accompanied him.