Queen Sobekneferu was the last ruler of the 12th dynasty of Egypt from about 1785 to 1781 BC. Alternate spellings of her name have appeared as Neferusobek, Nefrusobek, Nefrusobk, Sobeknofru and Sobekkara. The name means "The beauties of Sobek". Sobek was the crocodile god and the rulers of the 12th dynasty had established a religious center in the Fayoum Oasis where crocodiles were nurtured and worshiped.
There is limited physical evidence of her short reign. Her name does appear in the Kamak, the Turin Canon, the Turin kings list, the Sakkara kings list and the writings of Egyptian historian Manetho. Three headless statues of her were found in the Fayoum and five more statues were found at the temple of Amenemhat III at Hawara. While her tomb has not been officially located, the ruins of a pyramid near Dahshur are believed to have been hers.
Her father Amenemhat III ruled for about 47 years and appointed his son Amenemhat IV co-ruler before his death. It is thought Amenemhat III originally planned on his daughter Nefruptah to be his heir but she died at an early age. Amenemhat IV may have been an infant when he took power so his sister Sobekneferu served as regent during his reign of about 12 years before his death. She then became the last Egyptian king of the Middle Kingdom. Both male and female titles were used in reference to her reign. She was also the third female pharaoh. When she died she did not have any heirs.
Ancient Egypt page