The "Crocodile Queen of Egypt" was the first female Pharoah and she is not Cleopatra

Anita Durairaj

Cleopatra was not the only female Pharoah in the history of ancient Egypt. There were women rulers in Egypt long before Cleopatra came to power.

Sobeknefuru was the first historically confirmed female ruler in Egypt. She has also been nicknamed the "Crocodile Queen of Egypt" because of her association with the crocodile god, Sobek. Her name means "beautiful crocodile."

The crocodile god, Sobek, resembled a man with a head of a crocodile although he was also depicted as a full crocodile. The god was associated with power, fertility, and military prowess. Thus, it was fitting that the first female Queen of Egypt would revere him.

Sobeknefuru was the daughter of a Pharoah when she came top power. She ruled during the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. However, her reign was for a short period of time - only four years. She is especially known for being the last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty. Her rule is supposed to have concluded the Golden Age of the Middle Kingdom.

According to the website iFeminist, Sobeknefuru was a proponent of architecture and built monuments. She built structures and created a religious center in honor of the crocodile god that she was named after.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of physical evidence pertaining to Sobeknefuru's reign. A few statues have been uncovered of the female pharaoh. However, these have all been headless.

There was only one bust with Sobeknefuru's face and this was once stored in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. Unfortunately, this bust was lost during World War II.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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