I often get into a discussion with folks who think that Queen Hatshepsut was the first female Pharaoh. I can’t blame them because there is so much misinformation on the Internet. And one of the pet falsities is the one about Hatshepsut.
What if I told you that Hatshepsut ruled some 1,500 years after the first known female Pharaoh (they were known as Kings in that time period)? That’s right. A woman by the name of Meryt-Neith (or Merneith or something similar) reigned as regent for approximately 18 years after the death of her husband in the First Dynasty. I wrote about Meryt-Neith in my novel The Dagger of Isis.
But like in so much of Egyptian history, Egyptologists often have limited information from which to make definitive conclusions. So it is with an archaeological find made a few years ago in the Sinai desert. Carved into some rocks during a turquoise and copper mining operation some 5,000 years ago was the name of Neith-Hotep. Some Egyptologists say that Neith-Hotep was actually the first female Pharaoh, serving as a regent for her young son.