Lying asleep in Aswan is one of the majestic monoliths of upper Egypt the majestic Unfinished Obelisk. This object was able to serve as a reminder of the forgotten hiding glory of the ancient Egyptian civilization and still acts as evidence of the brilliance of ancient Egyptian architectural and crafting abilities and as a symbol of the might of Queen Hatshepsut one of the most powerful and successful pharaohs to ever rule Egypt.
History of The Unfinished Obelisk
The unfinished obelisk was constructed in a very unique way as it was inspired by a Greek style of architecture as it had four sides converging to a mini pyramidal shape at the top of the obelisk.
The unfinished obelisk was built in the new kingdom (1550-1070 B.C) during the 18th dynasty by Queen Hatshepsut, the wife of King Thutmose II (1478-1458 B.C) to be placed in the Karnak temple in order to complement the Lateran obelisk, originally in Karnak which was later moved to Rome.
The unfinished obelisk would have measured 42 m making it the tallest obelisk ever but unfortunately the construction was abandoned due to the finding of various cracks in the obelisk. It would also have been the heaviest obelisk weighing 1200 tons.
The Unfinished Obelisk Location
The unfinished obelisk still holds its original location in a granite quarry in Aswan. The location containing the obelisk is considered to be an open-air museum.
Origin of Obelisks
The origin of the obelisk can be traced back to the natural astronomical phenomena associated with the sun pillars and zodiacal lights. The ancient Egyptians called an obelisk “Tekhenu” which means “To Pierce The Sky“.
The obelisks were considered a symbol for the Benben which is a primordial mound where the creator god Atum stood at the moment of the universe Creation.
Construction of The Unfinished Obelisk
The obelisk is able to showcase 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 constructing techniques to split the obelisk from the bedrock as they made small cavities in the rock and those cavities were filled with wood chips, then the chips were soaked with water which made the rock to crack causing the obelisk to detach from the base.