Saturday, January 23, 2016

Another Ancient Eqyptian Queen Discovered, Another "History" as "Wife" Blown Up

Hola darlings!

Here is an article forwarded from Michelle, daughter of Georgia, my cohort here at Goddesschess, about the unmasking of yet another historical myth about the role a female played in the ancient Egyptian hierarchy of rulers.  When Mr. Don was alive he fondly referred to us as "his" three Goddesses :)

Georgia, Michelle and Yours Truly, New York en route to Statue of Liberty, 2009.
Chess Goddesses :)
Yet another one down (historic myth accepted as fact) and another one down, another one bites the dust...

Early Egyptian Queen Revealed in 5,000 Year Old Hieroglyphs
from Yahoo, as reported at Live Science by Owen Jarus

January 21, 2016:

About 60 drawings and hieroglyphic inscriptions, dating back around 5,000 years, have been discovered at a site called Wadi Ameyra in Egypt’s Sinai Desert. Carved in stone, they were created by mining expeditions sent out by early Egyptian pharaohs, archaeologists say.

They reveal new information on the early pharaohs. For instance, one inscription the researchers found tells of a queen named Neith-Hotep who ruled Egypt 5,000 years ago as regent to a young pharaoh named Djer.
Archaeologists estimate that the earliest carvings at Wadi Ameyra date back around 5,200 years, while the most recent date to the reign of a pharaoh named Nebre, who ruled about 4,800 years ago.
The "inscriptions are probably a way to proclaim that the Egyptian state owned the area," team leader Pierre Tallet, a professor at Université Paris-Sorbonne, told Live Science.
He explained that south of Wadi Ameyra, the ancient expeditions would have mined turquoise and copper. Sometime after Nebre's rule, the route of the expeditions changed, bypassing Wadi Ameyra, he said.
Early female ruler
The inscriptions carved by a mining expedition show that queen Neith-Hotep stepped up as ruler about 5,000 years ago, millennia before Hatshepsut or Cleopatra VII ruled the country.
While Egyptologists knew that Neith-Hotep existed, they believed she was married to a pharaoh named Narmer. "The inscriptions demonstrate that she [Neith-Hotep] was not [emphasis added] the wife of Narmer, but a regent queen at the beginning of the reign of Djer," Tallet said.
 'The White Walls'
An inscription found at Wadi Ameyra shows that Memphis, an ancient capital of Egypt that was also called "the White Walls," is older than originally believed.
Ancient Greek and Roman writers claimed that Memphis was constructed by a mythical king named Menes, whom Egyptologists often consider to be a real-life pharaoh named Narmer, Tallet explained.
The new inscription shows that Memphis actually existed before Narmer was even born.
"We have in Wadi Ameyra an inscription giving for the first time the name of this city, the White Walls,and it is associated to the name of Iry-Hor, a king who ruled Egypt two generations before Narmer," Tallet said. The inscription shows that the ancient capital was around during the time of Iry-Hor and could have been built before even he was pharaoh. [Could "The White Walls" be a reference to the prehistoric White Goddess, who later cropped up in culture after culture, in many different forms?]
Archaic boats
Among the drawings discovered at Wadi Ameyra are several that show boats. On three of these boats, the archaeologists found a "royal serekh," a pharaonic symbol that looks a bit like the facade of a palace. The serekh looks "as if it were a cabin" on the boats, Tallet said.
In later times, boats were buried beside Egypt's pyramids, including the Giza pyramids. The design of the boats depicted at Wadi Ameyra "are really archaic, much older" than those found beside the pyramids, Tallet said.
The Wadi Ameyra site was first discovered in 2012, and the finds were reported recently in the book "La Zone Minière Pharaonique du Sud-Sinaï II" (Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, 2015).
Check out this older information at Ancient Egypt 101 on "Ancient Egyptian Queen Neithhotep." She was one very important woman, married to Narmer or not.  For all we know, the image depicted on the Narmer mace head (see image from article, below) may be showing Narmer paying obeisance to the crowned figure inside the "canopy" (which may actually depict a form of royal serekh) instead of someone getting ready to marry the daughter of a "conquered king."  Notice that the alleged Narmer figure appears to be approaching the "canopy" from the rear, not walking toward the front of it as one might assume a conqueror would. Think about it.  
Credit: Heidi Kontkanen
I am no expert on ancient Egypt, but I did a little checking and it appears that there is no clear consensus on who the SECOND king (after Narmer) was, or if Narmer was actually the FIRST king.  See Tour Egypt "Horus Djer (Itit), Second King of the First Dynasty."  It might have been Hor-Aha (assumed to be the son of Narmer and Neith-hotep) or Djer.  It is assumed that Djer was a son of Hor-Aha.  So, how does Neith-hotep fit in?  According to the new evidence, Neith-hotep was not married to Narmer, so presumably she was not the mother of Hor-Aha.  Or was she?  And if she was, what was his relation to Narmer, if any?  And does this suggest that Narmer did not have any sons of his own???
Hey Egyptologists - this is a good story waiting to be told!

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