The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities revealed a significant discovery in the Umm al-Qaab area of Abydos, located in Sohag Governorate, southern Egypt. The discovery comprises hundreds of sealed wine jars dating back 5,000 years.
Dr. Mustafa Waziri, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, shared this news through a ministry statement received by Xinhua News Agency. He explained that an Egyptian-German-Austrian archaeological mission, working in the tomb of Queen Merit-Neith from the First Dynasty, successfully unearthed numerous large urns that had never been opened. Remarkably, these jars still contained remnants of ancient wine, approximately 5,000 years old, reports Al-Rai daily.
Dr. Dietrich Rau, Director of the German Institute in Cairo, added that excavation efforts in the tomb have also provided valuable historical insights into the queen’s life and reign.
The inscriptions on tablets found within the tomb indicated that Queen Merit-Neith held a prominent position, overseeing central government offices. The mission is ongoing, aiming to uncover further secrets about this queen’s history and identity.
Dr. Christiana Kohler, the head of the mission, detailed that the tomb of Queen Merit-Neith was constructed using raw bricks, clay, and wooden planks. This queen is likely the sole woman from the First Dynasty whose royal tomb has been discovered in Abydos thus far.
The mission also found 41 tombs belonging to Queen Merit-Neith’s courtiers and servants adjacent to her tomb, suggesting they were constructed at different points in time.
Merit-Neith holds a significant place in history as the first female ruler of Egypt and, indeed, the world. She reigned for around 10 years during the period from 2939 to 2929 BC.