A Remarkable Find: Tomb of Queen Merit Neith, Ancient Matriarch

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 2: Dating back to the era of Queen Merit Neith, the first female ruler in human history, 5,000-year-old wine jars were found in southern Egypt (Xinhua) October 1, 2023 02:55 PM 3381  

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced, Sunday, the discovery of hundreds of sealed wine jars dating back to the era of Queen Merit Neith, the first female in human history to rule 5000 years ago in the Umm al-Qaab area of ​​Abydos, in Sohag Governorate, southern Egypt.

Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, said in a ministry statement that the Egyptian-German-Austrian archaeological mission working in the tomb of Queen Merit-Neith of the First Dynasty in the Umm al-Qaab area of ​​Abydos in Sohag Governorate succeeded in uncovering hundreds of urns.

Closed and never opened, there is leftover wine inside. Waziri pointed out that the discovered jars are large in size and in a good state of preservation, and that the wine remains inside them are about 5,000 years old.

For his part, Dr. Dietrich Rau, Director of the German Institute in Cairo, said that the excavation work in the tomb also succeeded in unveiling new historical information about the life of the queen and the period of her reign, and that studying the inscriptions of one of the tablets found inside the tomb showed that the queen enjoyed a great status, as she was responsible for the central government offices.

Dr Rau pointed out that the mission is continuing its work in an attempt to uncover more secrets of the history and identity of this queen.

Dr. Christiana Kohler, head of the mission, added that studies conducted on the tomb indicated that the tomb of Queen Merit Neith was built of raw bricks, clay, and wood planks, and that the queen may be the only woman from the First Dynasty for whom a royal tomb has been uncovered in Abydos so far.

Kohler explained that a group of 41 tombs of Queen Merit Neith’s courtiers and servants were also discovered next to her tomb, which indicates that these tombs were built during different periods of time.

It is noteworthy that Merit Neith is the first female ruler in the history of Egypt and humanity, as she ruled Egypt for about 10 years during the period from 2939 – 2929 BC.

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