The last ruler of the 12th Dynasty, Nefrusobek probably was a daughter of Amenemhat III.
According to Manetho, she was both the sister and wife of Amenemhat IV. This is contradicted by the absence of contemporary sources where she holds the titles King's Sister or King's Wife. She always associated herself with Amenemhat III, a strong indication that she was related to this king, perhaps as daughter or granddaughter.
The 4 years credited to her by Manetho are confirmed by the 3 years, 10 months and 24 days that have been recorded in the Turin Kinglist. The fact that she is listed in the Turin Kinglist is, in itself, interesting because it shows that she was not considered as a mere regent or as an usurper.
Nefrusobek is the first known female king to have had a full royal titulary. Her titulary still shows the typical ending t for feminine words, thus combining the traditionally male titles with the reality that Nefrusobek was a woman.
A graffito in the Nubian fortress of Kumma indicates that like here predecessor, Nefrusobek was still in charge of the Nubian territory that had been conquered by Sesostris III, despite the gradual abandonment of fortresses started by Amenemhat III. She also contributed to the Labyrinth of Amenemhat III and probably granted her ancestor divine status in the Fayum.
Several pieces of statues of Nefrusobek have been found. Like her titulary, her statues too combine the traditional aspects of kingdom with the reality that this king was female. Thus we find a headless statue of Nefrusobek in the Louvre Museum that still has a part of the nemes head-cloth showing on her shoulders, while she is still wearing a typically female dress.
She died after a short reign, leaving no male heirs to the throne and was succeeded by the oldest son of Amenemhat IV, with whom the 13th Dynasty would start.
Her tomb has not yet been identified, although it has sometimes been assumed that she was buried in a pyramid in Mazghuna.
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Last update: 25 July, 2009
Torso of a statue of a king wearing the royal Nemes headdress. The torso is female and there are traces of a typically female dress with two bands covering the breasts.