The Unfinished Obelisk
The Unfinished Obelisk is a granite would-be structure that was abandoned thousands of years ago in the mines of Aswan. It is one of Egypt’s most valuable archaeological discovery because it sheds light on ancient stonemasonry techniques. The Obelisk; which would have been the largest single stone monument ever built by the Egyptians; was never completed; as its name suggests. When the masons noticed a break in the granite, they abandoned it; leaving it half-attached to the bedrock it was carved from.
Unknowns about The Unfinished Obelisk;
Historians disagree over the origins of the obelisks built by the Ancient Egyptians. The history of their production is shrouded in mystery: how were they carved from a single block? How were the tens of thousands-pound monuments moved hundreds of miles? And; once they got at their destination, how were these very huge columns placed in place?
The obelisks were marched up the Nile by boat, according to many hypotheses… yet that doesn’t clarify how they were transported to the boats; or how the boats held their weight! And; of course, someone will always respond with the easy explanation that the obelisks, like the pyramids; were built by extraterrestrials rather than humans… Hmmm; you’ll have to decide for yourself!
The Unfinished Obelisk visiting;
The Unfinished Obelisk is a fascinating place to visit, even if it’s only to try to wrap your brain around the fact that it was built by ancient civilizations in ways we can’t even imagine today. If you’re visiting Aswan on your own, don’t miss the Fatimid Cemetery, which includes some amazing mud-brick tombs from the 9th century. Otherwise, if you’re short on time, the best way to see the obelisk is to mix your tour with a journey to the Philae Temple and the Aswan Dam, which are both nearby.
When was the Unfinished Obelisk made?
Queen Hatshepsut of the 18th Dynasty, who ruled Egypt from 1490 to 1468 BC, ordered the construction of the Unfinished Obelisk (wife of King Thutmosis II). The Obelisk was designed to be a replica of the Lateran obelisk of Karnak, which was brought to the Lateran Palace in Rome and is 30 meters tall and weighs 350 tons.
How tall is the Unfinished Obelisk?
The Unfinished Obelisk, if recovered and constructed as intended, would have stood 137 feet tall and weighed 1,168 tonnes, dwarfing all others. (The Lateran obelisk in Rome, which stands 105 feet tall and weighs 455 tonnes, is the tallest survival.)