The earliest women whose names are known through archaeology include:
- Enheduanna, born c. 2285 BCE, the high priestess of the temple of the Moon God in the Sumerian city-state of Ur and possibly the first poet and first named author of either gender.
- Tashlultum (late 24th-early 23rd centuries BCEfl. late 24th-early 23rd centuries BCE), Akkadian queen, wife of Sargon of Akkad and mother of Enheduanna.
- Kugbau – a taverness from Kish chosen by the Nippur priesthood to become hegemonic ruler of Sumer, and in later ages deified as "Kubaba"
- Baranamtara - prominent and influential queen of Lugalanda of Lagash. Other known pre-Sargonic queens of the first Lagash dynasty include Menbara-abzu, Ashume'eren, Ninkhilisug, Dimtur, and Shagshag, and the names of several princesses are also known.
- Puabi or Shubad – queen of Ur whose tomb was discovered with many expensive artifacts. Other known pre-Sargonic queens of Ur (royal wives) include Ashusikildigir, Ninbanda, and Gansamannu.
- Peseshet (c. 2600 BCE), a physician in Ancient Egypt.
- Merit-Ptah (c. 2700 BCE) also lived in Egypt and is the earliest known female physician and scientist.
- Merneith (c. 3000 BCE), consort and regent of ancient Egypt during the first dynasty. She may have been ruler of Egypt in her own right.
- Neithhotep (c. 3200 BCE), the wife of Narmer and the first queen of ancient Egypt.
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“A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments.”
—T.S. (Thomas Stearns)
“In all history no class has been enfranchised without some selfish motive underlying. If to-day we could prove to Republicans or Democrats that every woman would vote for their party, we should be enfranchised.”
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“This above all makes history useful and desirable: it unfolds before our eyes a glorious record of exemplary actions.”
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