Kate and Alex's first visit to the Temple of Mut.
They had chosen a Friday to visit the Temple of Mut for a multitude of reasons, though mainly because Friday was the quietest day of the week. The temple itself had long since disappeared, having been constructed from mostly low-grade sandstone, leaving behind nothing more than coarse white sand through which various sections of its infinitely stronger foundations poked. There was the odd building block, inscribed with the usual carvings of ancient gods and hieroglyphs, along with a couple of nicely preserved decorative pieces, all of which had been discovered during excavations back in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. However, what made this temple unique was its vast collection of life-size, and larger, statues of Sekhmet.
“They are only statues, flipping hundreds of them, but they are only statues.” Kate’s nerves were getting to her as she looked up and across the faces of eight granite lions. To her left, to her right, behind her, beside her, the oh so many Sekhmet statues appeared to be closing in. Out in the open, blue sky overhead, a u-shaped sacred lake close by, she felt strangely claustrophobic.
“Sorry,” Alex said as he stepped up beside her, causing her to jump.
Kate attempted to hide her relief that he was close by. “How many statues of Sekhmet do you think there are here? They’re everywhere.”
“572 … Though the best ones are now in museums in London, Paris, Berlin,” he thought for a moment, “Turin … the Vatican … Saint Petersburg ... and, of course, Cairo … yes, that’s where they are, as well as in many private collections around the world.”
“How on earth do you know things like that?”
Alex reminded Kate of the large box of books, leaflets and photographs, all relating to Sekhmet, that he had received from his father – world famous archaeologist Quentin Cumberpatch. Amongst them was part two of The Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from October 1919. Twenty or so pages of excellent information on Sekhmet and the Temple of Mut. Alex had reread this before breakfast, so the details remained fresh in his mind.
From: Book 6 - Sekhmet's Anger - Chapter 1