Brandi Hill

Research Details

Subject area: Classics, Ancient History and Egyptology

Supervisor: Dr. Marina Minas-Nerpel and Dr. Kasia Szpakowska

Research degree: PhD

Thesis Title: A study of Royal Female Power and Political Influence in Ancient Egypt: Contextualising Queenship in the Twelfth Dynasty

Research Synopsis

My research explores the political presence of Twelfth Dynasty royal women by analyzing their iconographic and archaeological associations, along with the reigns of the administratively powerful Neferuptah and Egypt’s first unequivocally attested female ruler Sobekneferu. This thesis’s iconography study discusses specific attributes and interprets the surviving representations of Twelfth Dynasty royal women as elevations of their royal statuses in authority and in the political office of queenship.

My research also clarifies the progression of the Twelfth Dynasty royal women by explaining and emphasizing their strong governmental positions that lead up to Neferuptah having the most political presence during Pharaoh Amenemhat III’s reign and Pharaoh Sobekneferu who became remarkably powerful as a female ruler of ancient Egypt. The project examines Princess Neferuptah and Pharaoh Sobekneferu by their surviving depictions, (possible) burial complexes, building projects, and titled burial goods. Additionally, this study also includes a detailed catalogue with figures. 


Equality among ancient Egyptian pharaohs: Deconstructing modern expressions of Sobekneferu’s female rulership and the political presence of Twelfth Dynasty royal women (publication in progress)

The Evolution of Royal Female Power in the Late Old Kingdom through the Twelfth Dynasty. Published by the University of Memphis.  

Funding and Awards

Professional work placement at the Gwent Glamorgan Archaeological Trust focusing on the Historic Environment Record over a two week period, summer 2016. Funded by the Key Heritage Skills Programme and Research Institute for Arts and Humanities

Best presentation award at the British Federation of Women Graduates Presentation Day Conference 14 May 2016.

Academic and professional award to visit a variety of archaeological sites, museums and other institutions over a two week period in Egypt, spring 2016. Fully funded by The Egypt Exploration Society, London, England.

Ancient Egyptian statue