Unfinished Obelisk

The Unfinished Obelisk

One of the unforgettable monoliths of Aswan is the majestic Unfinished Obelisk. It is without a doubt the largest obelisk ever constructed but unfortunately was uncompleted. It offers the chance to shed some light on how such massive structures were created in ancient Egypt during Egypt new kingdom by the hands of Hatshepsut.

The History of the Unfinished Obelisk

It was built in a very unique manner as it depended on a Greek style of architecture as it had four sides converging to a mini pyramidal shape at the top of the obelisk, it was built in the new kingdom during the 18th dynasty by Queen Hatshepsut, the Wife of King Thutmose II (1478-1458 B.C) to be placed in the Karnak Temple and to complement the Lateran Obelisk, originally in Karnak but later moved to Rome. It is located in its original location a granite quarry in Aswan and would have measured 42 m making it the tallest obelisk in history but the project was unfortunately abandoned due to the discovery of numerous cracks in the obelisk. It would also have been the heaviest obelisk weighing 1200 tons. The obelisk was carved into the bedrock red granite and designed to resemble the primeval hill from the myth of creation where the world appeared for the first time.

The Construction of the Obelisk

The location that holds the obelisk is considered to be an open-air museum. The obelisk is able to tell us about the instruments used to construct this massive monument such as dolerite, a small ball made of a mineral harder than granite to carve the obelisk out. They also used many creative building techniques to spread the obelisk from the bedrock as they made some small cavities in the rock and those cavities were filled with wood chips. The chips were soaked with water. The soaking made expand causing the obelisk to detach from the base.

Other Obelisks in Egypt

There are additional eight great Obelisks, which remain in Egypt today:

  • Karnak temple, Thebes established by King Tuthmosis I.
  • Karnak temple, Thebes established by Queen Hatshepsut, which is the second obelisk (fallen)
  • Karnak temple, Thebes raised by Seti II (7m).
  • Luxor temple established by Ramses II.
  • Luxor Museum raised by Ramses II
  • Heliopolis, Cairo raised by Senusret I.
  • Gezira Island, Cairo established by Ramses II (20.4m high / 120 tons).
  • Cairo International Airport established by Ramses II 16.97m high.
 

Suggested Tours

Duration: 5 Days

Leave Hurghada for a 5-day Nile River cruise, from Luxor to Aswan and enjoy the historical sites.


Nile

Duration: 6 hours

See the highlights of Aswan in your Aswan Day Tour. Our daily tours will take you to the High Dam that created Lake Nasser, as well as the Unfinished Obelisk to see how anc

Duration: 12 hours

Safaga Shore Excursions Tours: One day tour to luxor from Safaga Port Visiting the Highlights of luxor West and East Bank that includes a visit to Valley of the Kings, Hats

Duration: 2 Days

Safaga Shore Excursions: Overnight trip to Luxor from Safaga port visiting Luxor Temple, Karnak temples and Valley of the Kings and more. You are going to have a private to

Duration: 2 Days

Safaga Shore Excursions: Private tours from Safaga Port Visiting Cairo and luxor for 2 Days 1 night visiting Giza Pyramids in cairo ,Luxor Temple,Valley of Kings and Coloss

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