Ankhnespepi II, the wife of the 6th-Dynasty’s Pepi I, enjoyed strong female role models in her life. One of Pepi's other queens, Inenek-Inty, is thought to have been ancient Egypt’s first female vizier (chief minister), and Ankhnespepi’s mother, Nebet, also carried the title. It would be over 1,500 years (26th Dynasty) before Egypt would see another woman in the post.
Ankhnespepi II was also a key figure in the royal court. In fact, as the wife of two kings and the mother of another, her pyramid at Saqqara contains the first known examples of Pyramid Texts in a queen's pyramid.
One of Nile Magazine's Top 5 Discoveries of 2017 is this elegant
wooden head, unearthed close to Ankhnespepi II's monument.
The head was found by the French-Swiss Archaeological Mission of Saqqara from the University of Geneva. Stylistically though, with its slender neck and large, disc-shaped earrings, the head seems to fit a date closer to the 18th Dynasty than the late Old Kingdom. Hopefully, radiocarbon dating will help solve the puzzle.
2017's Top 5 Discoveries is in the current issue of Nile Magazine. You can download a free sample at www.nilemagazine.com.au/free-samples.
Photo by Jerome Rizzo. Mission archéologique franco-suisse de Saqqâra.
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