The Crocodile Queen of Ancient Egypt

Yana Bostongirl

Sobekneferu also known as the Crocodile Queen of Egypt was the first female pharaoh of Egypt. While Sobek referred to the highly revered Egyptian crocodile god who ruled the water, the second part of her name means "beauty."

As pharaoh, her name had a powerful meaning as this excerpt explains: "If you put the two together, her name meant beautiful crocodile. Like many other kings and queens, Egyptian pharaohs chose the name they would rule under. Sobekneferu likely picked her name because of the importance of crocodiles in Egyptian culture."

Considering the significance of the Nile River to the Egyptians, it is only natural that the crocodile god and by extension the crocodiles inhabiting the Nile were treated with respect.

Not much is known about Sobekneferu other than she ruled for 4 years probably following in the footsteps of her father and brother as pharaoh. The little that is known about her came to light in the 19th century thanks to the Turin Canon which listed the names of 223 pharaohs.

Per reports, one of the things she did during her rule was to extend the labyrinth that her father had begun in the Faiyum Oasis. However, there is very little to go on to be able to give a clearer picture of who the Crocodile Queen really was: "Archaeologists have not found her tomb (though a pyramid in Dashur may be hers) and so all we have are five statues, several beads, scarabs and seals bearing her name. Other evidence comes in the form of Manetho's text; in the Turin Canon, the Karnak, Turin and Sakkara king lists and a Nile inundation record. She is listed at the mortuary Temple of her father, Amenemhat III which she completed. Surprisingly (or not) her name appears many times at the temple, whereas her brother’s name is absent."

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