|Statue of Queen Sobekkara Sobekneferu, 12th Dynasty
Queen Sobekkara Sobekneferu
By Kasey Conder, Pr. H.
Temple of Isis-Utah
Iseum of Muth
Lyceum of Auset and
Heru em Aakhuti
on Sobek: Sobek was a god of peculiar ways sometimes being associated with the brutal nature of Set, but also being
linked as assisting Isis and Nephthys at the birth of Horus, and saving Osiris’ body out of the Nile River. Sobek
is a mortuary god and a god of rebirth dealing with the deeper aspects of nature. He is a fertility god makes the herbage
green. Sobek is the son of the Lower Egyptian Goddess Neith and shares a famous Temple with Horus at Kom Ombos.
Queen Sobekkara Sobekneferu was the last great ruler of the 12th Dynasty and Egypt's first female ruler.
During the 12th and 13th Dynasties the cult of Sobek developed much prominence causing numerous Pharaohs to take on the
name of Sobek.
The name of Queen Sobekneferu translates as ‘the beauties of Sobek.’
Queen Sobekneferu was the daughter of Amenemhet III and Queen Aat. She is sometimes seen as the husband
of her brother Amenemhat IV. Her father enjoyed a long reign as Pharaoh while her brother, who preceded her, only served
nine years. Queen Sobekneferu lasted only four years, though there may be a period of co-regency with Amenemhat IV before
After the death of her husband/brother, she became Pharoah, as her consort, Amenemhat IV, had
no heir. Queen Sobekneferu gained the throne by the backing of the Priesthood of Sobek who felt she was the rightful
Queen Sobekneferu extended the labyrinth by her father’s pyramid in the Faiyum Oasis and created
Shedet, a religious center in the city of Crocodilopolis. Queen Sobekneferu kept the same capital city as other 12th
Dynasty Pharaohs in Itjtawy.
Queen Sobekneferu was a fascinating woman who invoked the shadowy nature
of the God Sobek, while serving as Egypt’s first female ruler. Unfortunately there is not much evidence left about her,
unlike another female ruler of ancient Egypt, Queen Hatshepsut. Archaeologists still have not found the tomb of Sobekneferu.
What we do know of Queen Sobekneferu comes down to us in the form of five existing statues, (where she is
dressed in female and male attire), several beads, scarabs, and seals bearing her name, the Temple of Amenemhat III at Hawara,
a Nile inundation record and Manetho.
Though there may be a small amount of evidence left on her,
wonder still grows about Egypt first Female Ruler, Queen Sobekkara Sobekneferu. Queen Sobekneferu, ‘she who shows
the beauties of Sobek,’ still definitely stirs something in the shadows of our imaginations, and in doing so, her legend
Shaw, Ian, editor, The Oxford History of Ancient
Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2000
About the Author: Kasey Conder is a priest and hierophant
in the Fellowship of Isis. He is founder of Temple of Isis-Utah, Iseum of Muth and Lyceum of Auset and Heru em Aakhuti. He
facilitates Public Goddess Services every second Saturday of the month in the city of Sandy, Utah. For more information please
visit his website: http://www.geocities.com/rainbowwaters1982/templeofisisutah
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