Mernieth

Tomb stela of Merneith,
in the Umm el-Qa'ab.
When Flinders Petrie, English archaeologist,  re-excavated the tombs at the old burial ground of Abydos during 1901 he accidentally found an unfamiliar tomb whose owner bore the name Mer-Neith.  The monument itself was a traditional building under ground with side chambers within like the mastaba tombs accompanied with side burials of retainers outside.

At first he thought that he had found an unknown king, but soon new fact came to light telling the unexpected truth that Mer-Neith was a woman.

It became clear that she was the widow and queen of king Djet and held office during the puerility and youth of their son, the next ruler to be - king Den whose name appeared in the grave. A proof of her position in the sequence of leaders was later found on a seal impression from the tomb of her son, where her name was put along with the ruling kings but without the king's insignia - the Horus falcon. In other lists from later times however, the Egyptians did not mention her, only her son. Above all, her name was found on a fine stele made of stone that credibly have had the same function as the one found from her husband - to mark the place of offering for the veneration of her immortal individual. For later commemoration she also had a ritual area in Abydos, beside the ones from five other regents. Her name contains the old patroness and war goddess from Lower Egypt - Neith and means: "beloved by Neith", whose regalia, (shield and arrows), are present on small labels from this time as well as her big stela. That the queen thus was a native of the Delta is a plausible guess, thereby making a sort of matrimonial alliance between the northern and the South, but this is so far not confirmed. Few remains attested to her of found outside Abydos probably due to the fact that all official sign, marks of property etc were made in the name of her little son. An exception is a great mastaba (Nr 3503, 16x42 m) in Sakkara where her name has been found as inscriptions on stone vessels, jars and seal impressions.

King Mernieth's Burial place:

His tomb in saqqara (3507) and abydos (tomb y) support her rule. Primitively missed, but found by Petrie. The central chamber is included with 8 storerooms whwere certain jars were found. The burial chamber contains the stela of Merytneith. 41 alternative graves. Tomb Y, Umm el Ga’ab.