Sobekneferu

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Sobekneferu (sometimes written "Neferusobek") reigned as pharaoh of Egypt after the death of Amenemhat IV. She was the last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt and governed Egypt for almost four years from 1806 to 1802 BC. [1] Her name means "the beauty of Sobek."

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Amenemhat IV Pharaoh of Egypt

Amenemhat IV was the seventh and penultimate pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty of Egypt during the late Middle Kingdom period, ruling for over nine years in the late 19th century BC or the early 18th century BC.

Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt

The Twelfth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with the Eleventh, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties under the group title Middle Kingdom.

Contents

Family

She was the daughter of Pharaoh Amenemhat III. Manetho states she also was the sister of Amenemhat IV, but this claim is unproven; researchers have yet still to find proof. Sobekneferu had an older sister named Neferuptah, who was the intended heir. Neferuptah's name was enclosed in a cartouche and she had her own pyramid at Hawara. Neferuptah died at an early age, however, allowing Sobekneferu to be next in line. [2]

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.

Amenemhat III pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt

Amenemhat III, also spelled Amenemhet III, was a pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from c. 1860 BC to c. 1814 BC, the highest known date being found in a papyrus dated to Regnal Year 46, I Akhet 22 of his rule. His reign is regarded as the golden age of the Middle Kingdom. He may have had a long coregency with his father, Senusret III.

Manetho Egyptian historian and priest from Ancient Egypt

Manetho is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BC, during the Hellenistic period. He authored the Aegyptiaca in Greek, a major chronological source for the reigns of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It is unclear if he wrote his work during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter or Ptolemy II Philadelphos, but no later than that of Ptolemy III Euergetes.

Reign

Sobekneferu was the first known woman reigning as pharaoh for which there is confirmed proof. There are five women who are believed to have ruled as early as the First Dynasty and Nitocris may have ruled in the Sixth Dynasty.[ citation needed ]

The First Dynasty of ancient Egypt covers the first series of Egyptian kings to rule over a unified Egypt. It immediately follows the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, possibly by Narmer, and marks the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period, a time at which power was centered at Thinis.

Nitocris has been claimed to have been the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt's Sixth Dynasty. Her name is found in Herodotus' Histories and in writings by Manetho, but her historicity is questionable. If she was in fact a historical person, then she may have been an interregnum queen, the sister of Merenre Nemtyemsaf II and the daughter of Pepi II and Queen Neith. Alternatively, the Egyptologist and phylologist Kim Ryholt has argued that Nitocris is legendary but derives from the historical male pharaoh Neitiqerty Siptah, who succeeded Merenre Nemtyemsaf II at the transition between the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period.

The Sixth Dynasty of ancient Egypt along with Dynasties III, IV and V constitute the Old Kingdom of Dynastic Egypt.

Amenemhat IV most likely died without a male heir; consequently, Amenemhat III's daughter, Sobekneferu, assumed the throne. According to the Turin Canon, she ruled for three years, ten months, and 24 days [3] in the late 19th century BC.

Turin King List ancient Egyptian manuscript

The Turin King List, also known as the Turin Royal Canon, is an ancient Egyptian hieratic papyrus thought to date from the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II, now in the Museo Egizio in Turin. The papyrus is the most extensive list available of kings compiled by the ancient Egyptians, and is the basis for most chronology before the reign of Ramesses II.

The 19th century BC was the century which lasted from 1900 BC to 1801 BC.

She died without heirs/children, and the end of her reign concluded Egypt's Twelfth Dynasty and the Golden Age of the Middle Kingdom, which inaugurated the Thirteenth Dynasty.

Middle Kingdom of Egypt period in the history of ancient Egypt between about 2000 BC and 1700 BC

The Middle Kingdom of Egypt is the period in the history of ancient Egypt following a period of political division known as the First Intermediate Period. The Middle Kingdom lasted from around 2050 BC to around 1710 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty. The Eleventh Dynasty ruled from Thebes and the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from el-Lisht. Some scholars also include the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt wholly into this period as well, in which case the Middle Kingdom would finish around 1650 BC, while others only include it until Merneferre Ay around 1700 BC, last king of this dynasty to be attested in both Upper and Lower Egypt. During the Middle Kingdom period, Osiris became the most important deity in popular religion. The Middle Kingdom was followed by the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt, another period of division that involved foreign invasions of the country by the Hyksos of West Asia.

The Thirteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties XI, XII and XIV under the group title Middle Kingdom. Some writers separate it from these dynasties and join it to Dynasties XIV through XVII as part of the Second Intermediate Period. Dynasty XIII lasted from approximately 1803 BC until approximately 1649 BC, i.e. for 154 years.

Monuments and Tomb

Head of ruling pharaoh Sobekneferu Statue of Sobekneferu (Berlin Egyptian Museum 14475).jpg
Head of ruling pharaoh Sobekneferu
Drawing by Flinders Petrie of the cylinder seal of Sobekneferu in the British Museum. SobekneferuCylinderPetrie.png
Drawing by Flinders Petrie of the cylinder seal of Sobekneferu in the British Museum.

Few monuments have been discovered for her, although many of her (headless) statues have been preserved including the base of a representation of a king's royal daughter that was discovered in Gezer and bears her name. [5] One statue with a head is known. A bust in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin (Inv. no. 14476), lost in World War II, could be identified as belonging to her. Today, the sculpture is known only from photographic images and plaster casts. It came in 1899 to the museum. The head fits on top of the lower part of a royal statue discovered at Semna. The latter can definitely be identified as royal because the royal symbol "unification of the two countries" appears on the side of her throne. [6] It is known that she made additions to the funerary complex of Amenemhat III at Hawara (called a labyrinth by Herodotus) and also built structures at Heracleopolis Magna.

Gezer human settlement

Gezer, or Tel Gezer (also Tell el-Jezer), also known as Abu Shusheh, is an archaeological site in the foothills of the Judaean Mountains at the border of the Shfela region roughly midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It is now an Israeli national park. In the Hebrew Bible, Gezer is associated with Joshua and Solomon.

Statue of Sobekneferu

The Statue of Sobekneferu was a sculpture of the Ancient Egyptian queen Sobekneferu, who reigned during the 12th dynasty.

Egyptian Museum of Berlin part of the Neues Museum, collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts

The Egyptian Museum of Berlin is home to one of the world's most important collections of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the iconic Nefertiti Bust. Since October 2009, the collection is part of the reopened Neues Museum on Berlin's Museum Island.

A fine cylinder seal bearing her name and royal titulary is located in the British Museum. [7] A Nile graffito, at the Nubian fortress of Kumma records the Nile inundation height of 1.83 meters in Year 3 of her reign. [8] Another inscription discovered in the Eastern Desert records "year 4, second month of the Season of the Emergence". [9] Her monumental works consistently associate her with Amenemhat III rather than Amenemhat IV, supporting the theory that she was the royal daughter of Amenemhat III and perhaps, only a stepsister of Amenemhat IV. [5] The Danish Egyptologist, Kim Ryholt, notes that the contemporary sources from her reign show that Sobekneferu never adopted the title of King's Sister-only "King's Daughter"-which supports this hypothesis. [5] Additionally, all Egyptian rulers were given the title "king", regardless of gender.

Her tomb has not been identified positively, although she may have been interred in a pyramid complex in Mazghuna that lacks inscriptions. It is immediately north of a similar complex ascribed to Amenemhat IV. A place called Sekhemneferu is mentioned in a papyrus found at Harageh. This just might be the name of her pyramid.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Kim S. B. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c.1800-1550 BCE, Museum Tusculanum Press, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications 20, 1997. p.185
  2. Dodson, Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Egypt, 2004, p. 98.
  3. Kim Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, Museum Tusculanum Press, (1997), p.15 ISBN   87-7289-421-0
  4. Flinder Petrie: Scarabs and cylinders with names (1927), available copyright-free here, pl. XIV
  5. 1 2 3 Ryholt, p.213
  6. B. Fay, R. E. Freed, T. Schelper, F. Seyfried: Neferusobek Project: Part I, in: G. Miniaci, W. Grajetzki: The World of Middle Kingdom Egypt (2000-1550 BC), Vo. I, London 2015, ISBN   978-1906137434, p. 89-91
  7. Gae Callender, 'The Middle Kingdom Renaissance' in Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, (Oxford Univ. Press: 2003), paperback, p.159
  8. Gae Callender, p.159
  9. A. Almásy, Catalogue of Inscriptions, In: U. Luft (editor), Bi'r Minayh, Report on the Survey 1998-2004, Budapest 2011, ISBN   978-9639911116, p. 174-175

Bibliography