The Unfinished Obelisk – Or The Lateran Obelisk
It is the largest ancient obelisk with four sides converging to a mini pyramidal shape at the top. It is located in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt in Aswan, that you can visit during your luxury Egypt tours Egypt. It has the Greek style. Although there are many obelisks in Egypt, the Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan is the largest and the oldest. It provides information about the stone carving procedures of the great ancient Egyptians.
The Story Beyond the Unfinished Obelisk
This splendid Obelisk was intended to be a 36m tall obelisk. Unfortunately, something happened and it was never finished, as while removing the block of stone, a huge crack appeared that made the stone unusable and they didn’t finish the construction process. Queen Hatshepsut is the one who orders to build this obelisk. It would have measured 42 m and would have weighed about 1200 tons that equals the weight of about 200 elephants if it was finished.
This mesmerizing Obelisk was carved out of bedrock. Suddenly cracks appeared and the project was abandoned. It has a great importance in showing the great construction techniques of the ancient Egyptians in addition to the marks of the workers’ tools that still visible till today. It is considered to be an open-air museum that is protected by the Egyptian Government.
The Tools and Materials Used in this Great Granite Block
Ancient Egyptians used small balls of mineral Dolerite. Dolerite is rare on planet Earth that is harder than granite. They used some special techniques to separate the granite from the bedrock. They made some small cavities in the rock and those cavities were filled with wood chips. The chips were soaked with water. That was the major reason for the cracking that happened because of the expanded wood from water. Also, you can check our Nile cruises tours which include visiting the tourist attraction and book your favorite experience.
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.