Sobekneferu (sometimes written "Neferusobek") reigned as pharaoh of Egypt after the death of Amenemhat IV. She was the last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt and ruled Egypt for almost four years from 1806 to 1802 BC. Her name means "the beauty of Sobek".
She was the daughter of Pharaoh Amenemhat III. Manetho's Aegyptiaca states that she also was the sister of Amenemhat IV, but this claim is unproven; researchers have yet still to find proof. Sobekneferu had an older sister named Neferuptah, who was the intended heir. Neferuptah's name was enclosed in a cartouche and she had her own pyramid at Hawara. Neferuptah died at an early age, however, allowing Sobekneferu to be next in line.
Sobekneferu was the first known woman reigning as pharaoh for which there is confirmed proof. There are women who are believed to have ruled as early as the First Dynasty, such as Neithhotep and Meritneith, but there is no definitive proof they ruled in their own right. Another candidate, Nitocris, would have ruled in the Sixth Dynasty, however there is little proof of her historicity and many scholars believe she is merely a legend deriving from a mistranslation of the pharaoh Neitiqerty Siptah's name.
Amenemhat IV most likely died without a male heir; consequently, Amenemhat III's daughter, Sobekneferu, assumed the throne. According to the Turin Canon, she ruled for three years, ten months, and 24 days in the late 19th century BC.
She died without heirs/children, and the end of her reign concluded Egypt's Twelfth Dynasty and the Golden Age of the Middle Kingdom, which inaugurated the Thirteenth Dynasty....
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• Bronze Age
• 2nd Millennium BC