The immense size of this single piece of granite, is still awesome
today and is the tallest surviving ancient Egyptian obelisk anywhere in
the world today.
There are 27 outside, standing Egyptian obelisks in the world today.
Only 6 still reside in Egypt.
An obelisk is a single, quadrangular, monolithic stone which is wider
at the bottom and tapers gently inwards and upwards as it reaches its
pyramidion summit. Sometimes the pyramidion was covered with a gold and
silver alloy called electrum. The electrum cap emulated the glare
of the Sun as it emitted its rays to the earth. The sides generally
contain embellished inscriptions of hieroglyphs. The inscriptions were
dedications to the Sun god or commemorations of a life of a king or
queen. They were normally made in pairs to sit outside the entrances
and pylons of temples. It is believed that the Ancient Egyptians
associated obelisks with the rays of the sun that cascaded downwards to
and increased in width, creating a pyramid or obelisk image - the
Egyptians thus associated the obelisk with the worship of the solar
The earliest known
obelisk to date, was discovered in Abusir, and dates to the Old Kingdom
reign of Niuserre [c.2449-2417 BC].
obelisks of the 5th Century Sun temples were no more than 10 feet tall
- these were called ben-ben. The obelisks were
by the Egyptians and their modern name comes from the Greeks who called
them 'little spits' which were items used for roasting
meat over a
fire. The ancient mythology of Egypt tells us that the obelisks were
meant to come in pairs and that there were two in heaven and
- 1909 Words
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