Queen Ruled Egypt Much Earlier, Hieroglyphs Say

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January 24, 2016

Egypt had a female ruler long before Hatshepsut and Cleopatra, say archaeologists who have been studying recently uncovered hieroglyphs.

Neith-Hotep, one inscription says, ruled Egypt as a regent for young pharaoh Djer about 5,000 years ago. Historians generally believe that a woman named Neith-Hotep was wife (but not queen consort) to Narmer, who is generally described as the first pharaoh.

Hatshepsut ruled in 1478–1458 B.C. Cleopatra ruled in 51–30 B.C.

The hieroglyphs are at Wadi Ameyra. The inscriptions mentioning Neith-Hotep are among the oldest; the youngest date to 4,800 years ago.

Also among the surprises for archaeologists was a very early mention of Memphis, a longtime ancient capital, as "the White Walls," proving that Memphis predated Narmer, not the other way around, as has long been believed.

The drawings also show several boats, one of which has a symbol that resembles a pharaoh's palace. Designs of the boats are much older than those found buried beside pyramids at Giza and elsewhere.

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