Statue of Sekhmet
Eighteenth Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III (1390-1353 B.C.E.)
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Associated with war and protection, Sekhmet was believed to have the power to send plagues against her enemies by means of flaming arrows. As such, images of the goddess were often carried into battle to protect the pharaoh and bring him victory, and she was also frequently invoked to prevent or cure disease. It has been suggested that a plague during the reign of Amenhotem III may have led him to have numerous statues built of Sekhmet, in the hope of securing her aid against the disease.