Archaeologists from the University of Vienna, in an excavation, found the reign of Queen Meret-Neith, one of the most influential women in ancient Egypt’s history. She was the most powerful woman in the period around 3,000 BC.
The discovery made at her tomb in Abydos, Egypt includes hundreds of large wine jars, some of which remain sealed, and several other grave goods. These are 5,000-year-old wine and in remarkably well-preserved conditions. Some of them also had ancient grape seeds inside them.
Inscriptions found on some of these jars indicate that Queen Meret-Neith held responsible positions for central government offices such as the treasury, thus supporting the idea of her special historical significance.
The team of German-Austrian archaelogist led by Christiana Kohler is investigating the tomb of Queen Meret-Neith. These findings prove her special historical significance. It also fuels the speculation that Meret-Neith was the first pharaoh of ancient Egypt and predecessor of the later Queen Hatshepsut.
Queen Meret-Neith was the only woman to have her own monumental tomb in Egypt’s first royal cemetery at Abydos. Her tomb complex in the Abydos desert, includes the tombs of 41 courtiers and servants in addition to her own burial chamber. It is built up of unbaked mud bricks, clay and wood. The careful excavation methods and several new archaeological technologies highlights that the tombs were built in several construction phases and over a relatively long period of time.
This challenges previous beliefs that human sacrifice was a part of royal burials during the first dynasty of ancient Egypt.