Study Guide

Sekhmet Sightings

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Jan 1, 1970

The Mennefer (Memphis) Triad

Way back before Egypt became a country, a king named Narmer, "the striking catfish," built a town. He called it Ineb-hedj or "White Walls," and later Mennefer or "Enduring and Beautiful." The middle of the city had a huge temple, Hut-ka-Ptah, for Ptah and Sekhmet and their son Nefertem. Hut-ka-Ptah's name was spelled Aigiptos by the Greeks, and is why we call Egypt by that name today.

Jan 1, 1970

Like Oktoberfest… but Redder

Mut was a lioness goddess who merged with Sekhmet during the New Kingdom. And so Sekhmet's festivals, including the very popular "Drunkenness of Sekhmet" feast, were also celebrated at Mut's temple in Karnak. During Hatshepsut's reign, a "porch of drunkenness" was added to Sekhmet-Mut's temple at Karnak so party-goers could celebrate not being eaten by Sekhmet in style, with as much red beer as they could drink.

Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

The Mysterious Karnak Sekhmet

Thutmosis started a temple for Ptah and Sekhmet at Karnak, and other kings kept adding to it. It was never as big as Amun-Ra's temple, but there's a life-size, standing statue of Sekhmet inside the southern chapel. Modern temple guards say that she comes to life at night and prowls the ruins looking for thieves.

Jan 1, 1970

A Lion a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Pharaoh Amunhotep liked Sekhmet. He also liked her power to scare away disease. To drive a plague out of Egypt, he ordered a series of giant Sekhmet statues to be installed all along the paths of Karnak temple, one for every day of the year and then some. In all, almost 600 have been found so far. (Maybe they needed a second year's worth?) These statues are now located in Egypt and in other museums and private collections worldwide.

Dec 20, 2019

Lion in Bed?

One of the beds in King Tut's tomb has lions on each side. They're made from gilded wood and glass and are as pretty as Sekhmet. Makes sense, since they are images of her.

Ozymandias Comes to Visit

Ramses II (or Userma'atra, whose name is spelled "Ozymandias" in Shelley's poem) built many monuments at Memphis, including giant colossal statues of himself and temples to Ptah and Sekhmet. Some of them still exist. Ramses liked to put his name on things he didn't build, but at least he didn't carve over Sekhmet's name. She liked that well enough; Ramses II's titles include "Beloved of Sekhmet."

Dec 20, 1993

Sekhmet in the Mojave

Genevieve Vaughn built a temple to the goddess Sekhmet not in the Egyptian desert, but in the Nevada desert, near old nuclear testing sites. It is still open today.

Dec 20, 2019

The Destruction of Mankind: Doodle History Edition

Once upon a time, Ra told Sekhmet to kill evil humans. She got a little carried away, and Ra had to trick her to make her stop. We all know this story, but it'd be great as a graphic novel. Stephanie Thornton thinks so, too

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