Cleopatra may not have been ancient Egypt's only female pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty -- Queen Arsinoë II, a woman who competed in and won Olympic events, came first, some 200 years earlier, according to a new study into a unique Egyptian crown.
After analyzing details and symbols of the crown worn by Arsinoë and reinterpreting Egyptian reliefs, Swedish researchers are questioning Egypt's traditional male-dominated royal line. They suggest that Queen Arsinoë II (316-270 B.C.) was the first female pharaoh belonging to Ptolemy's family -- the dynasty that ruled Egypt for some 300 years until the Roman conquest of 30 B.C.
While researchers largely agree on Arsinoë's prominence -- she was deified during her lifetime and honored for 200 years after her death -- the new study suggests she was in fact an Egyptian pharaoh with a role similar to the more famous Hatshepsut and Cleopatra VII.
One of the great women of the ancient world, Arsinoë was the daughter of Ptolemy I (366–283 B.C.), a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great who later became ruler of Egypt and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty to which Cleopatra belonged.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Another report re proposal that Arsinoe was Pharaoh
Discovery News (Rossella Lorenzi)