The six lion-headed figures represent the goddess Sakhmet, whose name means "the powerful one". Sakhmet was goddess of war, violent storms and pestilence. When she appesead, her powers of destruction could be used to protect, and in this aspect she became a goddess of healing.
These fugires probably once stood around the sacred lake of the temple of Mut at Karnak. In the early nineteenth century, more than 600 similar statues were found within the temple, and dozens may still be seen there today. One of the Sakhmet's many epithets was "the flame of Mut" and her close association with the goddess explains the presence of the statues in Mut's temple.
All the statues appear to be the same. In fact, they may be separated in two groups. The four at the left have been fashioned after the same model, probably not by the same sculptor. The bodies have similar proportions and the faces are narrow. The two at the right are of a different type, with broader faces and larger eyes. All these statues where dedicated to Amenhotep III. Inscriptions on two of them describe the pharaoh as "beloved by Sakhmet".
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