Object type


Place Associated

Africa, Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes (place of manufacture)


18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, circa 1390-1352 BC




overall: 310 mm x 320 mm x 422 mm 75000 g


Granodiorite head in the form of a lioness, representing the goddess Sekhmet. The original statue incorporated the full figure of Sekhmet, either standing or seated. There is a slot on the head into which a solar disk, also carved of granodiorite, would have been placed. It was made in the reign of Amenhotep III and probably originally stood in his mortuary temple on the west bank at Thebes, although many Sekhmet statues were later relocated to the temple of Karnak.

The name Sekhmet means ‘She who is Powerful’ or 'Powerful Woman'. She was the goddess of fire, war, destruction and plagues. She was also associated with the burning fierce heat of the Egyptian sun, and it was believed her breath created the deserts. Although she was fierce, she was honoured by the Egyptians as she was said to protect the pharaoh during times of war. She was also regarded as a master of medicine who was able to cure and heal much of the destruction and disease she brought. Her priests were often skilled surgeons and specialists in the field of medicine.

Provenance: Kenneth John Hewett, London; from whom purchased by Sir William Burrell on 12 October 1950.

Credit Line/Donor

Gifted by Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944


Burrell Collection: Egyptian Items

ID Number



Burrell Collection

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