Sekhmet or Sokhmet (mighty), in Egyptian mythology, is the goddess of war and the scorching sun, daughter of Ra, wife of Ptah, mother of the vegetation god Nefertem. The sacred animal Sekhmet is a lioness. The goddess was portrayed as a woman with the head of a lioness and was revered throughout Egypt. In the myth of how Ra punished the human race for sins, she exterminated people until God stopped her by cunning. Her sight terrified the enemy, and the fiery breath destroyed everything, Sekhmet could kill a person or let him get sick; the anger of the goddess brought pestilence and epidemics. At the same time, Sekhmet is a healer goddess who patronized doctors who were considered her priests.
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Egyptian main description
Egyptian hieroglyphics are arguably one of the most famous examples of symbolism across history. Created by the ancient Egyptians, this served as their formal writing system. Hieroglyphics can be dated back to the 32nd century BC, and perhaps even earlier. Evidence demonstrates that this writing system continued into the Roman period of the 4th century AD. However, much of the knowledge of hieroglyphics and their meanings were lost after the end of pagan temples in the 5th century. There was no existing knowledge of what these symbols meant, how they were meant to be read and their significance.
Hieroglyphics were decoded in the 1820s with the aid of the Rosetta Stone by Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion. These symbols are not just phonetic sounds or symbols. In fact, they are a combination of different elements. As Jean-François Champollion discovered, hieroglyphics are a “complex system” that encompasses “figurative, symbolic, and phonetic all at once.” For many Egyptians, this form of writing was seen as the “words of God” and thus used by priests.
Generally, hieroglyphics in cursive form were used for religious texts and engraved into wood or written on papyrus. They are written in rows or columns and can be read either left to right or right to left. The direction can be established by seeing which way the human or animal figure faces at the beginning of the line.