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of Egyptian records, this possible queen must remain only Teta's mother Shesh, of the pomatum receipt.'

The minds of the early writers on Egyptian history seem to have had few impressions of this reign except such as were connected with medicine and its practice. Curious indeed were the physiological beliefs of the time.

Treating of this subject, the Ebers Papyrus explains that, “the head contains twenty-two vessels, which draw " the spirits into it and send them thence to all parts of the " body.... there are two for the right ear, by which enter “ the breaths of life; and two for the left ear which in like manner admit the breaths of death.'

All physical ills were caused by the malign influence of evil spirits ; they could be driven out by spells or remedies known to the physician, who then restored the patient to health by the use of various mixtures. Some of the formulæ set forth by these early physicians never passed entirely away. In The Dawn of Civilization, M. Maspero says of this :3

“ The use of more than one of these remedies became “ world-wide; the Greeks borrowed them from the “ Egyptians; we have piously accepted them from the “ Greeks; and our contemporaries still swallow with

resignation many of the abominable mixtures invented “ on the banks of the Nile long before the building of the pyramids."

The next evidence found of a queen in chronological order is rather a gruesome one.

This is nothing more than the dismembered arm of a mummy, which was discovered in the tomb of King Zer, probably the same as Teta, Mena's son. The arm had on it four beautiful bracelets composed of turquoise, and small gold plaques surmounted by hawks, finely-cut amethysts and gold flowers, tinted stones and a sort of glass paste, all of very delicate workmanship. It is curious that this fragment with its jewels should have escaped destruction when the mummy to which it belonged was torn to pieces. It is supposed that at the time of the original robbery, this arm with its bracelets was hastily torn from the body and thrust aside into the sand for concealment until it could be safely removed ; for some reason the robbers never succeeded in finding it again, and so it lay for ages hidden in Zer's tomb. When Mr. Petrie, excavating in the ancient cemetery of Omm el Gaab, chanced upon the tomb and opened it, he found in one corner this fragment of some unknown princess, still wearing the jewels in which she had been buried. The beauty of these ornaments prove the skill of the jeweller's art at that period when the king had first taught his people to live in a “delicate and sumptuous manner. The queen to whom the ornaments belonged has left no name nor record of any kind ; long ago the mummy crumbled to dust, but this one nameless withered arm, covered with its bracelets, still remains to suggest some queen of King Zer, second monarch of the Ist dynasty.

1 By some writers she is called the Consort of Teta.

? EBERS, Papyrus; Berlin Medical Papyrus, MASPERO, BRUGSCH, CHABAS. 3 p. 220.

One more name occurs at this time: MERNEIT, a princess of Sařs, who seems to have been the wife of Den, fourth king of the Ist dynasty. A fine diorite stela in Cairo, and several other monuments are inscribed with her

Her tomb existed in the royal cemetery at Abydos, near the great one in which her husband, King Den, was buried; but nothing circumstantial is known regarding her life.


IInd Dynasty.

Thinite. Before 4000 B.C. It is in the records of this period that we first hear of a Queen concerned with the actual government of Egypt. · Now in the Cairo Museum, Jewel Room, Case IV, B.

This was NE-MAAT-HAP,' who was probably a Memphite princess; she is called "the mother of the royal children,” and “She whose orders are always obeyed," a title which points to her importance probably as a “Royal Heiress.” It is possible that Ne-Maat-Hap was descended from Baen-neter, and that, after profiting by his decree which legalized the active sovereignty of women, she bequeathed the throne to her two sons, Khasekhemui and Neterkhet. The elder of these was but three years of age when he succeeded. His mother was Queen-Regent during his minority, and exercised a supreme power; as evident from official sealings in the name of the queen, which survive. It is not certain who her husband was, but he may have been one of the kings of the IInd dynasty, Perabsen. This seems not unlikely from the fact that in the tomb of Neterkhet, the younger son of Ne-Maat-Hap, only two royal names occur, those of the queen-mother and Perabsen.”

A royal tomb was made for the Queen, and after her death the services attending it were long maintained by special endowment. Ne-Maat-Hap is perhaps to be regarded as the ancestress of a new line of kings, and her memory was honoured by her descendants until the IV th dynasty.

She is probably the same queen-mother Ne-Maat-Hap who is mentioned in the tomb of Methen, a noble high in authority and in the favour of Sneferu. As a reward for valuable services he was given “two hundred portions of “cultivated land, with numerous slaves, both male and female, "and an income of one hundred loaves daily," which was charged to the funeral endowment of Queen Ne-Maat-Hap.3

A further mention of her is made on a scarab, which records the name of “The Mother of Royal Children, NeMaat-Hap.”

1 LEPSIUS, Denkmähler, ii, 16, 17; BRUGSCH and BOURIANT, Livre des Rois.

2 N. and G., Hist. E., 47-49.
3 LEPSIUS, Denkmähler ; MASPERO, D. Civ., p. 294.
NEWBERRY, Scarabs, pl. IV, 15.


If there were other princesses of this period who reigned under the law of Ba-en-neter, they have apparently left no records which survive, as the next queen of whom anything definite is known appears two dynasties later, or after a period of some hundreds of years.



IVth Dynasty.

Memphite. Before 3500 B.C. MERTITEFS, whose name signified “beloved of her father," was the wife of Sneferu, founder of the IVth dynasty.

The historical evidences regarding Mertitefs are found on her statue preserved in the Leyden Museum, and in a commemorative tablet which was discovered at Ghizeh. These records are of historical value as aids in determining the order in which the three great kings of the IVth dynasty ascended the throne, as they show her association with all three kings, Sneferu, Khufu, and Khafra.

In early life she was the Queen of Sneferu, and after his death she seems to have become the wife of his successor Khufu ; outliving him in turn, she is later mentioned as the Ama khit, or vassal of Khafra. From these evidences it appears that Mertitefs held regal honours not only from the founder of this famous dynasty, but also from the first two of those kings who built the great pyramids. The Leyden statue of Mertitefs is of a peculiar type, broadfaced, big-eyed, with a wide mouth and strangely heavy features. It is evident that the style of art of this period is not to blame for the coarse representations of the Queen's face: it was IVth dynasty art which produced the famous statues of the Ra-hetep group, and the enthroned Khafra of the Cairo Museum ; works of supreme beauty, vitality and power. Artists of consummate skill existed when | MASPERO, Dawn Civ., 272, n. 4 ; E. de ROUGÉ, Recherches.

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