Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / The Egyptian Collection

Bust of Sekhmet

Sekhmet, whose name means “the powerful one”, was a fearsome deity for the Egyptians, as she was capable of bringing destruction and pestilence among men, as she had done during the age of myth to defend the sun king Ra from his enemies. In order to ensure benevolence every day of the year, the pharaoh Amenhotep III (1390–1353 BC) had two sets of 360 statues made, depicting the deity in her usual guise as a woman with the head of a lioness. Most of the sculptures were made for the Theban temple of Mut; others were made for the king’s funerary temple on the west bank of the Nile, and a smaller number went to the city of Thebes. Nearly all collections of Egyptian antiquities have at least one specimen.

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Almost all the collections of Egyptian antiquities retain at least one fragment of statue of Sekhmet, and the Museum of Bologna has its own bust of the goddess, wearing a wide collar type usekh, consisting of several overlapping row of pendants, and a wig split into three bands hair

The breaking point of the statue, just below the breast, makes it impossible to determine whether the goddess Sekhmet was sitting or standing.


Provenance: Thebes (?). Palagi Collection
Datation: New Kingdom: 18th dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III (1390–1353 BC)
Material: Diorite
Dimensions: cm 59 x 33 x 35
Inventory #: EG 293

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Exhibition rooms | Egyptian collection