CAIRO – 17 May 2022: Pepi II Neferkare was one of the Egyptian pharaohs of the Sixth Dynasty, in the Old Kingdom, who took the throne at the age of six. He ruled from c. 2278 BC. In the beginning, his mother was his guardian.
Pepi II Neferkare insisted that his slaves cover themselves with honey to keep the annoying flies away!
Not all Egyptians looked at flies with the same disdain as Pepi II Neferkare. In fact, due to the insect's speed and unwavering persistence, the fly has come to be highly regarded, as a symbol of perseverance and thus, golden flies were awarded to soldiers who have demonstrated such qualities on the battlefield.
Fly amulets were also made of gold, silver, bone, lapis lazuli, faience, garnet and amethyst. Some of the best examples of gold fly necklaces were found in the tomb of Queen Ahhotep at Dra’ Abu el-Naga.
It is likely that wearing a fly amulet was thought to provide protection from insect bites or to ward off flies, a much tastier method than coating slaves with honey!
In general, Pepi II Neferkare was known for his unusual behavior. The preserved letter that Pepi II Neferkare wrote to Harkhuf, ruler of Aswan and head of one of the expeditions sent by Pepi II to Nubia, shows that Pepi II Neferkare requested that the dwarves be captured.
Pepi II is usually referred to as the longest-reigning king in history, with some sources stating that he ruled for 94 years. Other sources indicate that he ruled for 64 years, according to ancient-origins.