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Funerary stela of Meretneith

By Jacqueline Engel

Meretneith may have been the first ruling queen in Egyptian history.

This stela was found in her tomb at Abydos, located close to the tombs of King Djet, probably her husband, and King Den, perhaps her son.

Her name means ‘Beloved of (the goddess) Neith’ and is written with a hieroglyph depicting crossed arrows, the emblem of the goddess Neith, and the hoe-sign, meaning ‘beloved of..

When Meretneith’s tomb was built in the middle of the 1st Dynasty, the cemetery of Umm el-Qaab at Abydos had already been in use for over 1000 years.

By marking the tomb with a monumental stela, Meretneith was following well- established traditions.

1st Dynasty (King Djet, about 2880-2873 BC. Abydos (Umm l-Qaab limestone, JE 34550

Egyptian Museum Caïro

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