Sandro Vannini’s Photography: King Tut’s Ritual Figure of Sekhmet

The Ritual Figure of Sekhmet was found in King Tutankhamun's tomb (KV62) by Howard Carter. Click the image to skip to the slideshow. Image Copyright - Sandro Vannini.Housed inside Cairo’s Egyptian Museum are many of the artefacts from King Tutankhamun’s tomb (KV62) including the Ritual Figure of Sekhmet, which was discovered in 1922 by the great explorer Howard Carter and his financier Lord Carnarvon. The two men who had a trusting and close bond, as well as a love for Egyptology as explained by his modern day ancestors in a Heritage Key interview (Watch the video about Carter and Carnarvon). Included in the discovery were 34 ritual figures, believed to be of significant importance in the burial ceremony.

Egyptology photographer Sandro Vannini has been capturing many of the famed treasures of King Tut on camera, with the stunning results brought online by Heritage Key each week. In the second part of the Ritual Figures images by Sandro, the exquisite photographs of the goddess Sekhmet are featured.

‘Ritual Figure of Sekhmet’ Slideshow

Heritage Key is working with Sandro and bringing his extensive catalogue of beautiful photography of Egyptian antiquities onto the internet, which make for stunning viewing for both the casual observer and the keenest budding archaeologist alike! To watch a slideshow of the Ritual Figure of Sekhmet simply click any of the thumbnails below.

Explore KV62 for yourself in King Tut Virtual

But it doesn’t stop there, as you can also visit King Tut Virtual and see digital recreations of many of the famous artefacts from KV62, dig in the Valley of the Kings, and explore the tomb of the boy king and even see more of Sandro Vannini’s photography in the virtual gallery.

Don’t miss out on new treasures!

This post is part of a series focussing on amazing photographs from ancient Egypt. Keep checking back as well keep adding new images by Sandro Vannini. To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the updates, simply subscribe by email to receive notifications when new images are uploaded. For the more digitally advanced, there’s also an RSS feed with updates available.

See More Amazing Photography by Sandro

Have a look at some of the other stunning photographs by Sandro Vannini here at Heritage Key:

Ask Sandro

We’ll be sitting down with our favourite photographer for an extended chat soon, so if you have any questions for Sandro we’ll send the answers straight to you!

Sandro Vannini’s Photography

Sandro has spent over a decade in Egypt, photographing some of the most stunning archaeological finds in history, as well as hundreds of amazing tombs across Egypt. The experience gained and skills enhanced have given Sandro a natural flair for making these artefacts come to life in his photography. Obviously the equipment he uses is a key factor too, and for capturing the Ritual Figures of King Tut on film, Sandro uses a Hasselblad ELD Ixpress 528C camera to take these images.

You can also see more of Sandro’s fantastic photography in his new book with the Director of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass, “The Lost Tombs of Thebes:Life in Paradise” as well as reading about Sandro’s experiences of shooting the photographs in Thebes on Heritage Key, and watching the video about the Lost Tombs of Thebes featuring Dr Zahi Hawass and Dr Janice Kamrin.

Of course, not everyone would be able to make that trip to Cairo to see the beautiful artefacts that the Egyptian Museum holds, so Heritage Key brings Sandro’s stunning photography of the ritual figures from the Tomb of King Tut. But it doesn’t stop there: you can visit virtual replicas of Tutankhamun treasures in the Heritage Key VX King Tut exhibition, which features a virtual replica of many other breath-taking artefacts such as the Golden Mask of King Tutankhamun.

The Ritual Figure of Sekhmet

Inside the black resin-covered wooden boxes inside the Tomb of King Tut and wrapped in shawls were 34 ritual figures. Only one of the boxes had been breached by ancient tomb robbers, and inside one of the crates was discovered the Ritual Figure of Sekhmet, the daughter of Re, wife of Ptah and mother of Nefertem as well as the goddess of war and destruction.

When the ritual figure was found, a floral wreath was wrapped around its neck and she was wrapped in two linen cloths. One of the cloths bore an inscription which mentions the Aten. Sekhmet was the warrior god of Upper Egypt, and is shown with the head of a lioness and the body of a female.

Sekhmet was believed to be a protectorate of the Pharaoh, and would take down their enemies with arrows of fire during battle. The wrath of Sekhmet would become infamous, as her priestesses sought to make her a dominating goddess. Numerous statues were made in her likeness, which would then be laced in anthrax to prevent them being stolen or defaced.

Sekhmet’s notoriety was based around her rage, which almost wiped out mankind. Re created Sekhmet in vengeance as a punishment for man’s sin and disobedience. However, her ruthlessness grew and eventually led to Re losing control over Sekhmet as she wiped out vast numbers of people. Re’s attempts to stop Sekhmet’s war-path led to her turning on him, and admitted that she gained pleasure from destroying those who opposed him.

The myth has it that Re ordered for a vast amount of alcohol to be bought to the Nile, and dumped in the river with pomegranate to make it appear red. Tempting in Sekhmet, she drank the river which eventually stopped her rampage. In order to appease Sekhmet, the Egyptian people would worship her through a complex ritual.

HD Video: King Tut’s Treasures: The Ritual Figures

(Read the transcript on the video page)

If you liked this video, you can look at the Heritage Keys video page for all our videos to date and see more of archaeologists working in Ancient Egypt. Additionally, you can find out more about Ancient Egypt here at Heritage Key, and if you want to do some discovery of your own, you can explore KV62 – King Tutankhamun’s tomb – in 3D in our exciting virtual experience! Also be sure to keep up to date on all new postings about Sandro’s photography from Egypt by subscribing to our feed, simply by entering your email address above.