HOME

TheInfoList




An obelisk (; from grc, ὀβελίσκος ; diminutive of ''obelos'', " spit, nail, pointed pillar") is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or
pyramidion A pyramidion (plural: pyramidia) is the uppermost piece or capstone of an Egyptian pyramid or obelisk , in the Place de la Concorde in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabit ...
at the top. Originally they were called ''tekhenu'' by their builders, the
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
ians. The
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...
who saw them used the Greek term to describe them, and this word passed into
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
and ultimately
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
. Ancient obelisks are
monolith A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition ...
ic; that is, they consist of a single stone. Most modern obelisks are made of several stones.


Ancient obelisks


Egyptian

Obelisks were prominent in the architecture of the
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
ians, and played a vital role in their religion placing them in pairs at the entrance of the
temples A temple (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...

temples
. The word "obelisk" as used in English today is of Greek rather than Egyptian origin because
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
, the Greek traveller, was one of the first classical writers to describe the objects. A number of ancient Egyptian obelisks are known to have survived, plus the "
Unfinished Obelisk
Unfinished Obelisk
" found partly hewn from its quarry at
Aswan Aswan (, also ; ar, أسوان, ʾAswān ; cop, Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, Souan ) is a city in the south of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast ...

Aswan
. These obelisks are now dispersed around the world, and fewer than half of them remain in Egypt. The earliest
temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hinduism (w ...

temple
obelisk still in its original position is the red granite Obelisk of
Senusret I Senusret I (Middle Egyptian The Egyptian language (Egyptian: ''r n km.t'', , Coptic language, Coptic: ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afro-Asiatic language which was spoken in ancient Egypt. Its attestation stretches over an extraordinarily lo ...
of the
Twelfth Dynasty The Twelfth Dynasty of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egy ...
at
Al-Matariyyah Mataria ( ar, المطرية ) is a district in the northern region of Greater Cairo The Greater Cairo Area (GCA; ar, القاهرة الكبرى, Al-Qāhira al-Kubrā) is the largest metropolitan area in Egypt, the largest urban area in Afr ...
in modern Heliopolis. In
Egyptian mythology Egyptian mythology is the collection of myths from ancient Egypt, which describe the actions of the Egyptian pantheon, Egyptian gods as a means of understanding the world around them. The beliefs that these myths express are an important part ...
, the obelisk symbolized the sun god
Ra
Ra
, and during the religious reformation of
Akhenaten Akhenaten (pronounced ), also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten ( egy, wikt:ꜣḫ-n-jtn, ꜣḫ-n-jtn, meaning "Effective for the Aten"), was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning or 1351–1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Ei ...

Akhenaten
it was said to have been a petrified ray of the
Aten Aten also Aton, Atonu, or Itn ( egy, wikt:jtn, jtn, ''reconstructed'' ) was the focus of Atenism, the religious system established in ancient Egypt by the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten. The Aten was the disc o ...

Aten
, the sundisk.
Benben In the creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolatio ...
was the mound that arose from the primordial waters Nu upon which the creator god
Atum Atum (, Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with tho ...

Atum
settled in the creation story of the Heliopolitan creation myth form of Ancient Egyptian religion. The Benben stone (also known as a
pyramidion A pyramidion (plural: pyramidia) is the uppermost piece or capstone of an Egyptian pyramid or obelisk , in the Place de la Concorde in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabit ...
) is the top stone of the Egyptian pyramid. It is also related to the obelisk. It is hypothesized by
New York University New York University (NYU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of ne ...
Egyptologist Egyptology (from ''Egypt'' and Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populat ...
Patricia Blackwell Gary and ''
Astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
'' senior editor Richard Talcott that the shapes of the
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
ian
pyramid A pyramid (from el, πυραμίς ') is a structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act ...

pyramid
and obelisk were derived from natural phenomena associated with the sun (the sun-god
Ra
Ra
being the Egyptians' greatest deity at that time). The
pyramid A pyramid (from el, πυραμίς ') is a structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act ...

pyramid
and obelisk's significance have been previously overlooked, especially the astronomical phenomena connected with
sunrise Sunrise (or sunup) is the moment when the upper rim of the Sun appears on the horizon in the morning. The term can also refer to the entire process of the solar disk crossing the horizon and its accompanying atmospheric optics, atmospheric eff ...

sunrise
and
sunset Sunset, also known as sundown, is the daily disappearance of the Sun below the horizon The horizon is the apparent line that separates earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor ...

sunset
:
Zodiacal light The zodiacal light (also called false dawn when seen before sunrise ''Before Sunrise'' is a 1995 American romantic drama film In film and television show, television, drama is a category of narrative fiction (or docudrama, semi-fiction) ...

Zodiacal light
and
sun pillar A light pillar is an atmospheric optical phenomenon A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis ...

sun pillar
s respectively.


Nubian

Ancient
Nubian kings
Nubian kings
of the twenty-fifth Dynasty sought to legitimize their rule over Egypt by constructing Egyptianizing monuments in the Middle Nile region. Historical sources mention that king
Piye Piye (once transliterated as Pankhy or Piankhi; d. 714 BC) was an ancient Kingdom of Kush, Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, who ruled Egypt from 744–714 BC. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, ...
built at least one obelisk. The obelisk was made of local
black graniteIn the construction, construction industry, black rocks that share the hardness and strength of granitoid, granitic rocks are known as black granite. In geological terms, black granite might be gabbro, diabase, basalt, diorite, norite, or anorthosite ...
and was found at the site of Kadakol. It had been cut down to make it into a column, presumably for one of the early Christian churches in the area of
Old Dongola Old Dongola ( Old Nubian: ''Tungul''; ar, دنقلا العجوز, ''Dunqulā al-ʿAjūz'') is a deserted town in what is now Northern State, Sudan Sudan (; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمه ...
. Today the obelisk is exhibited in the National Museum in Khartoum. The obelisk is inscribed with the kings official titulary: ''Strong-bull, Appearing-in-Dominion (Thebes), King-of-Upper-and-Lower-Egypt, Two-ladies, Ruler-of-Egypt, Son-of-Rê, Pi(ankh)y: what he made as his monument for his father Amen-Rê, lord of ..'. An obelisk of King
Senkamanisken Senkamanisken was a Kingdom of Kush, Kushite King who ruled from 640 to 620 BC at Napata. He used Ancient Egyptian royal titulary, royal titles based on those of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Biography He might have been married to queens Am ...
was found at
Gebel Barkal Jebel Barkal or Gebel Barkal ( ar, جبل بركل) is a very small mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in hav ...

Gebel Barkal
in 1916 by the
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard University
Museum of Fine Arts expedition to
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
. There are remains of another small obelisk inscribed with the
cartouche Image:Birth and Throne cartouches of pharaoh Seti I, from KV17 at the Valley of the Kings, Egypt. Neues Museum.jpg, upalt=A stone face carved with coloured hieroglyphics. Two cartouches - ovoid shapes with hieroglyphics inside - are visible at the ...

cartouche
of King Aktisanes at the site of Gebel Barkal.


Ancient Egyptian obelisks in Ancient Rome

Around 30 BCE, after
Cleopatra Cleopatra VII Philopator ( grc-gre, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ}; 69 BC10 August 30 BC) was queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, Egypt from 51 to 30 BC, and its last active ruler.She was also a diplomat, Ancient ...

Cleopatra
, "the last Pharaoh", committed suicide, Rome seized control of Egypt. The Ancient Romans looted the various
temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hinduism (w ...

temple
complexes, in one case they destroyed walls at the
Temple of Karnak A temple (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...

Temple of Karnak
to haul them out. There are now more than twice as many obelisks that were seized and shipped out by Rome as remain in Egypt. The majority were dismantled during the Roman period over 1,700 years ago and the obelisks were sent to different locations. The largest standing and tallest Egyptian obelisk is the
Lateran Obelisk The Lateran Obelisk is the largest standing ancient Egyptian obelisk , in the Place de la Concorde in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, ...
in the square at the west side of the
Lateran Basilica The Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran ( it, Santissimo Salvatore e Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano), also known as the Papal Archbasilica of Saint John nLateran, S ...
in Rome at tall and a weight of . More well known is the
iconic 300px, Apple pie, baseball, and the flag of the United States">baseball.html" ;"title="Apple pie, baseball">Apple pie, baseball, and the flag of the United States are three Culture of the United States, American cultural icons. A cultural icon i ...
, obelisk at
Saint Peter's Square St. Peter's Square ( it, Piazza San Pietro , la, Forum Sancti Petri) is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the pope, papal enclave and exclave, enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighb ...

Saint Peter's Square
. Brought to Rome by the Emperor
Caligula Caligula (; 31 August 12 – 24 January 41 AD), formally known as Gaius (Gaius Gaius, sometimes spelled ''Gajus'', Cajus, Caius, was a common Latin praenomen The praenomen (; plural: praenomina) was a given name, personal name chosen by th ...

Caligula
in 37 CE, it has stood at its current site and on the wall of the
Circus of Nero and current Basilicas of St. Peter. The Circus of Nero or Circus of Caligula was a circus (building), circus in ancient Rome, located mostly in the present-day Vatican City. Location and dimensions The accompanying plan shows an early interpre ...

Circus of Nero
, flanking St Peter's Basilica. Pope
Sixtus V Pope Sixtus V (13 December 1521 – 27 August 1590), born Felice Piergentile, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, la ...

Sixtus V
was determined to erect the obelisk in front of St Peter's, of which the nave was yet to be built. He had a full-sized wooden mock-up erected within months of his election.
Domenico Fontana Image:Federico Zuccari, Ritratto di Domenico Fontana.jpg, 200px, Domenico Fontana by Federico Zuccari Domenico Fontana (154328 June 1607) was an Italians, Italian architect of the late Renaissance, born in today's Ticino. He worked primarily in It ...

Domenico Fontana
, the assistant of
Giacomo Della Porta Giacomo della Porta (1532–1602) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance lan ...
in the Basilica's construction, presented the Pope with a little model crane of wood and a heavy little obelisk of lead, which Sixtus himself was able to raise by turning a little winch with his finger. Fontana was given the project. Half-buried in the debris of the ages, it was first excavated as it stood; then it took from 30 April to 17 May 1586 to move it on rollers to the Piazza: it required nearly 1000 men, 140 carthorses, and 47 cranes. The re-erection, scheduled for 14 September, the Feast of the
Exaltation of the Cross 200px, Russian icon of Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (icon from Yaroslavl">icon.html" ;"title="Russian icon of Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (icon">Russian icon of Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (icon from Yaroslavl by Gury Nik ...
, was watched by a large crowd. It was a famous feat of engineering, which made the reputation of Fontana, who detailed it in a book illustrated with copperplate etchings, ''Della Trasportatione dell'Obelisco Vaticano et delle Fabriche di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto V'' (1590), which itself set a new standard in communicating technical information and influenced subsequent architectural publications by its meticulous precision. Before being re-erected the obelisk was exorcised. It is said that Fontana had teams of relay horses to make his getaway if the enterprise failed. When
Carlo Maderno Carlo Maderno (Maderna) (1556 – 30 January 1629) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian langu ...
came to build the Basilica's nave, he had to put the slightest kink in its axis, to line it precisely with the obelisk. Three more obelisks were erected in Rome under Sixtus V: at
Santa Maria Maggiore The Basilica of Saint Mary Major ( it, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, ; la, Basilica Sanctae Mariae Maioris), or church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is a Basilicas in the Catholic Church#Major and papal basilicas, Major papal basilica as well ...

Santa Maria Maggiore
, in 1587; at the Lateran Basilica, in 1588; and at the
Piazza del Popolo Piazza del Popolo is a large urban square in Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, regi ...

Piazza del Popolo
, in 1589. An obelisk stands in front of the church of Trinità dei Monti, at the head of the
Spanish Steps The Spanish Steps ( it, Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti) are a set of steps in Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (met ...

Spanish Steps
. Another obelisk in Rome is sculpted as carried on the back of an
elephant Elephants are the largest existing land animals. Three living species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A specie ...

elephant
. Rome lost one of its obelisks, the
Boboli obelisk The Boboli obelisk, previously called the Obelisco Mediceo, is an ancient Egyptian granite obelisk, which was moved in the 18th century from Rome to Florence, where it was erected in the Boboli Gardens. History File:Boboli, obelisco 02.JPG, View ...
which had decorated the temple of Isis, where it was uncovered in the 16th century. The Medici claimed it for the
Villa Medici The Villa Medici () is a Mannerist Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of ...

Villa Medici
, but in 1790 they moved it to the
Boboli Gardens The Boboli Gardens ( it, Giardino di Boboli) is a historical park of the city of Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany Regions of Italy, region. It is the most populated city in T ...

Boboli Gardens
attached to the
Palazzo Pitti The Palazzo Pitti (), in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast, mainly Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Fu ...

Palazzo Pitti
in
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
, and left a replica in its place. Not all the Egyptian obelisks in the Roman Empire were set up at Rome:
Herod the Great Herod I (; ; grc-gre, ; c. 72 – 4 or 1 BCE), also known as Herod the Great, was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romu ...
imitated his Roman patrons and set up a red granite Egyptian obelisk in the
hippodrome The hippodrome ( el, ἱππόδρομος) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the ...

hippodrome
of his new city
Caesarea Caesarea () (, he, קֵיסָרְיָה), ''Keysariya'' or ''Qesarya'', often simplified to Keisarya, and Qaysaria, is a town in north-central Israel, which inherits its name and much of its territory from the ancient city of Caesarea Maritima ...

Caesarea
in northern
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...

Judea
. This one is about tall and weighs about . It was discovered by archaeologists and has been re-erected at its former site. In 357 CE, Emperor
Constantius II Flavius Julius Constantius ( grc-gre, Κωνστάντιος; 7 August 317 – 3 November 361), known as Constantius II, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). ...

Constantius II
had two Karnak Temple obelisks removed and transported down the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
to
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
to commemorate his ''ventennalia'', the 20th year of his reign. Afterward, one was sent to Rome and erected on the ''
spina Spina was an Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Et ...
'' of the
Circus Maximus The Circus Maximus (Latin for "largest circus"; Italian language, Italian: ''Circo Massimo'') is an ancient Rome, ancient Roman chariot racing, chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue in Rome, Italy. In the valley between the Aventin ...

Circus Maximus
, and is today known as the Lateran Obelisk. The other one, known as the
Obelisk of Theodosius The Obelisk of Theodosius ( tr, Dikilitaş) is the Ancient Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III re-erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople, Hippodrome of Constantinople (known today as ''At Meydanı'' or ''Sultanahmet Meydanı'', in the mo ...

Obelisk of Theodosius
, remained in Alexandria until 390 CE, when Emperor
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
had it transported to Constantinople (now
Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes ...

Istanbul
) and put up on the ''spina'' of the
Hippodrome of Constantinople Sultanahmet Square ( tr, Sultanahmet Meydanı), or the Hippodrome of Constantinople ( el, Ἱππόδρομος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Hippódromos tēs Kōnstantinoupóleōs, la, Circus Maximus Constantinopolitanus, tr ...
(now Sultan Ahmet Square). It once stood tall and weighed ; however, its lower section (which reputedly also once stood in the hippodrome) is now lost, reducing the obelisk's size to .


Ancient Egyptian obelisks in modern cities

The Ancient Romans populated their city with 8 large and 42 small Egyptian obelisks. More have been re-erected elsewhere, and the best-known examples outside Rome are the pair of
Cleopatra's Needle Cleopatra's Needle is the popular name for each of a pair of ancient Egyptian obelisks re-erected in Cleopatra's Needle (London), London and Cleopatra's Needle (New York), New York City during the nineteenth century. Although these needles are gen ...
s in
London, England London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary down to the North Sea, and has b ...

London, England
(), and
New York City, USA New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the L ...

New York City, USA
(), and the over-
Luxor Obelisk The Luxor Obelisks (French: ''Obélisque de Louxor'') are a pair of Ancient Egyptian obelisks carved to stand either side of the portal of the Luxor Temple in the reign of Ramesses II Ramesses II (; variously also spelled Rameses or Rams ...

Luxor Obelisk
at the
Place de la Concorde The Place de la Concorde () is one of the major public squares in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,17 ...

Place de la Concorde
in
Paris, France Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris, France
. Obelisks were being shipped out of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
as late as the nineteenth century when three of them were sent to
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...

New York
and
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
. Their transportation was covered by various newspapers. There are ancient Egyptian obelisks in the following locations: * Egypt – 11 **Pharaoh
Seti II Seti II (or Sethos II) was the fifth pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt The Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XIX), also known as the Ramessid dynasty, is classified as the second Dynasty of the Ancient Egypt Ancien ...
, Karnak Temple, Luxor, **Pharaoh
Thutmosis I Thutmose I (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis I, Thothmes in older history works in Latinized Greek; Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: wikt:ḏḥwtj, ḏḥwtj-wikt:ms#Egyptian, ms ''Djehutymes'', meaning "Thoth is born") was the third ...
,
Karnak Temple The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak (, which was originally derived from ar, خورنق ''Khurnaq'' "fortified village"), comprises a vast mix of decayed temples A temple (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical lan ...

Karnak Temple
,
Luxor Luxor (; ar, الأقصر ', , Upper Egyptian pronunciation: ; Sahidic ''Pape'', ) is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is ...

Luxor
**Pharaoh
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...

Ramses II
,
Luxor Temple#REDIRECT Luxor Temple The Luxor Temple (Arabic: معبد الاقصر) is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) ...

Luxor Temple
**Pharaoh
Hatshepsut Hatshepsut (; also Hatchepsut; Egyptian language, Egyptian: ''wikt:ḥꜣt#Egyptian, ḥꜣt-wikt:špst#Egyptian, špswt'' "Foremost of Noble Ladies"; c. 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the ...

Hatshepsut
, Karnak Temple, Luxor **Pharaoh
Senusret I Senusret I (Middle Egyptian The Egyptian language (Egyptian: ''r n km.t'', , Coptic language, Coptic: ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afro-Asiatic language which was spoken in ancient Egypt. Its attestation stretches over an extraordinarily lo ...
, Al-Masalla area of
Al-Matariyyah Mataria ( ar, المطرية ) is a district in the northern region of Greater Cairo The Greater Cairo Area (GCA; ar, القاهرة الكبرى, Al-Qāhira al-Kubrā) is the largest metropolitan area in Egypt, the largest urban area in Afr ...
district in Heliopolis,
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
**Pharaoh
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...

Ramses II
,
Tahrir Square Tahrir Square ( ar, ميدان التحرير ', , English language, English: Liberation Square), also known as "Martyr Square", is a major public town square in downtown Cairo, Egypt. The square has been the location and focus for politica ...
,
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
**Pharaoh
Ramses III Usermaatre Meryamun Ramesses III (also written Ramses and Rameses) was the second Pharaoh of the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt, Twentieth Dynasty in Ancient Egypt. He is thought to have reigned from 26 March 1186 to 15 April 1155 BC and is considered ...

Ramses III
,
Luxor Museum Luxor Museum is an archaeological museum An Archaeology museum is a museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares for and displays a collect ...
**Pharaoh
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...

Ramses II
,
Gezira Island Gezira is an island in the Nile River The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive ...
, Cairo, **Pharaoh
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...

Ramses II
,
Cairo International Airport Cairo International Airport (; ''Maṭār El Qāhira El Dawly'') is the principal international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airpor ...

Cairo International Airport
, **Pharaoh
Hatshepsut Hatshepsut (; also Hatchepsut; Egyptian language, Egyptian: ''wikt:ḥꜣt#Egyptian, ḥꜣt-wikt:špst#Egyptian, špswt'' "Foremost of Noble Ladies"; c. 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the ...

Hatshepsut
, "", Stone Quarries,
Aswan Aswan (, also ; ar, أسوان, ʾAswān ; cop, Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, Souan ) is a city in the south of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast ...

Aswan
**Pharaoh
Senusret I Senusret I (Middle Egyptian The Egyptian language (Egyptian: ''r n km.t'', , Coptic language, Coptic: ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afro-Asiatic language which was spoken in ancient Egypt. Its attestation stretches over an extraordinarily lo ...
,
Faiyum Faiyum ( ar, الفيوم ' , borrowed from cop,  ̀Ⲫⲓⲟⲙ or Ⲫⲓⲱⲙ ' from egy, pꜣ ym "the Sea, Lake") is a city in Middle Egypt Middle Egypt () is the section of land between Lower Egypt (the Nile Delta) and Upper ...
*France – 1 **Pharaoh
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...

Ramses II
,
Luxor Obelisk The Luxor Obelisks (French: ''Obélisque de Louxor'') are a pair of Ancient Egyptian obelisks carved to stand either side of the portal of the Luxor Temple in the reign of Ramesses II Ramesses II (; variously also spelled Rameses or Rams ...

Luxor Obelisk
, in
Place de la Concorde The Place de la Concorde () is one of the major public squares in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,17 ...

Place de la Concorde
, Paris *Israel – 1 ** Caesarea obelisk *Italy – 13 (includes the only one located in the
Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vatica ...

Vatican City
) **Rome — 8 ancient Egyptian obelisks ''(see
List of obelisks in Rome The city of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_capt ...
)'' **Piazza del Duomo,
Catania Catania (, , Sicilian and , grc, Κατάνη) is the second largest city in Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , d ...

Catania
(
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
) **
Boboli Obelisk The Boboli obelisk, previously called the Obelisco Mediceo, is an ancient Egyptian granite obelisk, which was moved in the 18th century from Rome to Florence, where it was erected in the Boboli Gardens. History File:Boboli, obelisco 02.JPG, View ...
(
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
) **
Urbino Urbino ( ; ; Romagnol: ''Urbìn'') is a walled city in the Marche Marche ( , ) is one of the twenty regions of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consis ...

Urbino
*Poland – 1 **Pharaoh
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...

Ramses II
, Poznań Archaeological Museum,
Poznań Poznań is a city on the Warta, River Warta in west-central Poland, within the Greater Poland region. The city is an important cultural and business centre, and one of Poland's most populous regions with many regional customs such as Saint Jo ...

Poznań
(on loan from Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin) *Turkey – 1 **Pharaoh
Tuthmosis III Thutmose III (variously also spelt Tuthmosis or Thothmes) was the sixth pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is ...
, the
Obelisk of Theodosius The Obelisk of Theodosius ( tr, Dikilitaş) is the Ancient Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III re-erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople, Hippodrome of Constantinople (known today as ''At Meydanı'' or ''Sultanahmet Meydanı'', in the mo ...

Obelisk of Theodosius
in the
Hippodrome of Constantinople Sultanahmet Square ( tr, Sultanahmet Meydanı), or the Hippodrome of Constantinople ( el, Ἱππόδρομος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Hippódromos tēs Kōnstantinoupóleōs, la, Circus Maximus Constantinopolitanus, tr ...
(now Sultan Ahmet Square),
Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes ...

Istanbul
*United Kingdom – 4 **Pharaoh
Tuthmosis III Thutmose III (variously also spelt Tuthmosis or Thothmes) was the sixth pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is ...
, "
Cleopatra's Needle Cleopatra's Needle is the popular name for each of a pair of ancient Egyptian obelisks re-erected in Cleopatra's Needle (London), London and Cleopatra's Needle (New York), New York City during the nineteenth century. Although these needles are gen ...
", beside the Thames
Victoria Embankment Victoria Embankment is part of the Thames Embankment, a road and river-walk along the north bank of the River Thames in London. It runs from the Palace of Westminster to Blackfriars Bridge in the City of London, and acts as a major thoroughfare ...

Victoria Embankment
, in London **Pharaoh
Amenhotep II Amenhotep II (sometimes called ''Amenophis II'' and meaning ''Amun Amun (; also ''Amon'', ''Ammon'', ''Amen''; egy, jmn, ''reconstructed'' ; Ancient Greek, Greek ''Ámmōn'', ''Hámmōn'') was a major ancient Egyptian deities, ancient ...

Amenhotep II
, in the Oriental Museum,
University of Durham , mottoeng = Her foundations are upon the holy hills ( Psalm 87:1) , established = (university status) , type = Public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an in ...
**Pharaoh
Ptolemy IX Ptolemy IX Soter II Ptolemy IX also took the same title 'Soter' as Ptolemy I Soter, Ptolemy I. In older references and in more recent references by the German historian Huss, Ptolemy IX Soter II may be numbered VIII. ( el, Πτολεμαῖος Σ ...
, Philae obelisk, at
Kingston Lacy Kingston Lacy is a English country house, country house and estate near Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England. It was for many years the family seat of the Bankes family who lived nearby at Corfe Castle until its destruction in the English Civil War af ...

Kingston Lacy
, near
Wimborne Minster Wimborne Minster (often referred to as Wimborne, ) is a market town in Dorset in South West England, and the name of the Church of England church in that town. According to Office for National Statistics data the population of the Wimborne Min ...

Wimborne Minster
,
Dorset Dorset (; archaically In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system compose ...

Dorset
**Pharaoh
Nectanebo II Nectanebo II (Manetho Manetho (; grc-koi, Μανέθων ''Manéthōn'', ''gen''.: Μανέθωνος) is believed to have been an Ancient Egyptian religion, Egyptian priest from Sebennytos ( cop, Ϫⲉⲙⲛⲟⲩϯ, translit=Čemnouti) who li ...

Nectanebo II
,
British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of Lond ...

British Museum
, London (pair of obelisks) *United States – 1 **Pharaoh
Tuthmosis III Thutmose III (variously also spelt Tuthmosis or Thothmes) was the sixth pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is ...
, "
Cleopatra's Needle Cleopatra's Needle is the popular name for each of a pair of ancient Egyptian obelisks re-erected in Cleopatra's Needle (London), London and Cleopatra's Needle (New York), New York City during the nineteenth century. Although these needles are gen ...
", in
Central Park Central Park is an urban park in New York City located between the Upper West Side, Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan. It is the List of New York City parks, fifth-largest park in the city by area, covering . It is the most visited ...

Central Park
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...


Assyrian

Obelisk monuments are also known from the
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n civilization, where they were erected as public monuments that commemorated the achievements of the Assyrian king. The
British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of Lond ...

British Museum
possesses four Assyrian obelisks: The White Obelisk of Ashurnasirpal I (named due to its colour), was discovered by
Hormuzd Rassam Hormuzd Rassam ( ar, هرمز رسام; syr, ܗܪܡܙܕ ܪܣܐܡ; 182616 September 1910), was an Iraqi Assyriologist of Assyrians in Iraq, Assyrian origin. He is known for making a number of important archaeological discoveries from 1877 to 1 ...

Hormuzd Rassam
in 1853 at
Nineveh Nineveh (; ar, نَيْنَوَىٰ '; syr, ܢܝܼܢܘܹܐ, Nīnwē; akk, ) was an ancient Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a n kingdom and of the that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th ...
. The obelisk was erected by either
Ashurnasirpal IAššur-nāṣir-apli I, inscribed m''aš-šur-''PAB-A, “the god Ashur (god), Aššur is the protector of the heir,” was the king of Assyria, 1049–1031 BC, and the 92nd to appear on the ''Assyrian Kinglist''. He was the son and successor of Sha ...
(1050–1031 BCE) or
Ashurnasirpal II Ashur-nasir-pal II (: ''Aššur-nāṣir-apli'', meaning " is guardian of the heir") was king of from 883 to 859 BC. Ashurnasirpal II succeeded his father, , in 883 BC. During his reign he embarked on a vast program of expansion, first conqueri ...
(883–859 BCE). The obelisk bears an inscription that refers to the king's seizure of goods, people and herds, which he carried back to the city of Ashur. The reliefs of the Obelisk depict military campaigns, hunting, victory banquets and scenes of tribute bearing. The Rassam Obelisk, named after its discoverer
Hormuzd Rassam Hormuzd Rassam ( ar, هرمز رسام; syr, ܗܪܡܙܕ ܪܣܐܡ; 182616 September 1910), was an Iraqi Assyriologist of Assyrians in Iraq, Assyrian origin. He is known for making a number of important archaeological discoveries from 1877 to 1 ...

Hormuzd Rassam
, was found on the citadel of
Nimrud Nimrud (; syr, ܢܢܡܪܕ ar, النمرود) is an ancient Assyrian city located south of the city of Mosul, and south of the village of Selamiyah ( ar, السلامية), in the Nineveh plains in Upper Mesopotamia. It was a major Assyri ...
(ancient Kalhu). It was erected by Ashurnasirpal II, though only survives in fragments. The surviving parts of the reliefs depict scenes of tribute bearing to the king from Syria and the west. The
Black Obelisk The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III is a black limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging t ...
was discovered by in 1846 on the citadel of Kalhu. The obelisk was erected by
Shalmaneser III Shalmaneser III (''Šulmānu-ašarēdu'', "the god ShulmanuShulmanu or Shulman (Assyrian Akkadian: ''Salmānu'', Babylonian language, Babylonian Akkadian: ''Šulmānu'') was an Ancient Mesopotamian religion, ancient Mesopotamian deity. The deity ...

Shalmaneser III
and the reliefs depict scenes of tribute bearing as well as the depiction of two subdued rulers,
Jehu ) as depicted on the Black Obelisk The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III is a black limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are ...

Jehu
the Israelite, and Sua the Gilzanean, making gestures of submission to the king. The reliefs on the obelisk have accompanying epigraphs, but besides these the obelisk also possesses a longer inscription that records one of the latest versions of Shalmaneser III's annals, covering the period from his accessional year to his 33rd regnal year. The Broken Obelisk, that was also discovered by Rassam at Nineveh. Only the top of this
monolith A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition ...
has been reconstructed in the British Museum. The obelisk is the oldest recorded obelisk from Assyria, dating to the 11th century BCE.


Axumite (Ethiopia)

A number of obelisks were carved in the ancient Axumite Kingdom of today northern
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
. Together with () King Ezana's Stele, the last erected one and the only unbroken, the most famous example of axumite obelisk is the so-called (h)
Obelisk of Axum The Obelisk of Axum (Tigrinya Tigrinya (ትግርኛ; also spelled Tigrigna) is a Semitic language spoken in Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in Eastern Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is border ...

Obelisk of Axum
. It was carved around the 4th century CE and, in the course of time, it collapsed and broke into three parts. In these conditions it was found by Italian soldiers in 1935, after the
Second Italo-Abyssinian War The Second Italo-Ethiopian War, also referred to as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, was a war of aggression A war of aggression, sometimes also war of conquest, is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense, usual ...
, looted and taken to Rome in 1937, where it stood in the Piazza di
Porta Capena Porta Capena was a gate in the Servian Wall The Servian Wall ( la, Murus Servii Tullii; it, Mura Serviane) was an ancient Roman defensive barrier constructed around the city of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date ...
. Italy signed a 1947 agreement to return the obelisk but did not affirm its agreement until 1997, after years of pressure and various controversial settlements. In 2003 the Italian government made the first steps toward its return, and in 2008 it was finally re-erected. The largest known obelisk, the Great Stele at Axum, now fallen, at high and by at the base () is one of the largest single pieces of stone ever worked in human history (the largest is either at Baalbek or the Ramesseum) and probably fell during erection or soon after, destroying a large part of the massive burial chamber underneath it. The obelisks, properly termed stelae or the native ''hawilt'' or ''hawilti'' as they do not end in a pyramid, were used to mark graves and underground burial chambers. The largest of the grave markers were for royal burial chambers and were decorated with multi-storey false windows and false doors, while nobility would have smaller less decorated ones. While there are only a few large ones standing, there are hundreds of smaller ones in "stelae fields".


Ancient Roman

The Romans commissioned obelisks in an ancient Egyptian style. Examples include: *Arles, France – Arles Obelisk, in Place de la République, a 4th-century obelisk of Ancient Rome, Roman origin *Benevento, Italy – Domitian Obelisk *Munich, Germany – Obelisk of Titus Sextius Africanus, at Staatliche Sammlung für Ägyptische Kunst, 1st century CE, *Rome – there are five, ''see
List of obelisks in Rome The city of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_capt ...
''


Byzantine

*
Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes ...

Istanbul
, Turkey – Walled Obelisk, at
Hippodrome of Constantinople Sultanahmet Square ( tr, Sultanahmet Meydanı), or the Hippodrome of Constantinople ( el, Ἱππόδρομος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Hippódromos tēs Kōnstantinoupóleōs, la, Circus Maximus Constantinopolitanus, tr ...
(now Sultan Ahmet Square), built by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (905–959) and originally covered with gilded bronze plaques


Pre-Columbian

The prehistoric Tello Obelisk, found in 1919 at ''Chavín de Huantar'' in Peru, is a monolith stele with obelisk-like proportions. It is 2.52 metres tall and was carved in a design of low relief with Chavín symbols, such as bands of teeth and animal heads. Long housed in the ''Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú'' in Lima, it was relocated to the ''Museo Nacional de Chavín'', which opened in July 2008. The obelisk was named for the archeologist Julio C. Tello, who discovered it and was considered the 'father of Peruvian archeology'. He was America's first Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous archeologist.


Modern obelisks


Post-Egyptian obelisks


As commemorative monuments

Egyptian obelisks remain a source of fascination, serving as a reminder of past glories and a symbol of state power. A majority of modern obelisks are made of masonry or concrete, so not monolithic like their Egyptian counterparts, and are often oversized. Examples from the 19th and 20th centuries include the (1835) in Helsinki, the Wellington Monument, Dublin, Wellington Monument (1861) in Dublin, the Washington Monument (1884) in Washington, D.C.,Marking a people's love
an article from The New York Times published February 22, 1885.
the Obelisco de Buenos Aires, Obelisk of Buenos Aires (1936) in Buenos Aires,Julio A. Luqui Lagleyze, ''Plazas de Buenos Aires'', Revista Todo es Historia, Nro 90, noviembre de 1974 and the National Monument (Indonesia), National Monument (1975) in Jakarta. A few, however, continue the ancient tradition of the monolithic obelisk. File:Ireland - Dublin - Phoenix Park - Wellington Monument 2.jpg, The Wellington Monument, Dublin, Wellington Monument in Dublin, built between 1817 and 1861 to commemorate the victories of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington File:Obe brol 1.JPG, The Brothers Broglie Obelisk at the Monrepos Park in Vyborg, Russia, erected in 1827 File:Keisarinnankivihelsinginkauppatorilla.jpg, The by Carl Ludvig Engel, erected in 1835 to commemorate Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (Charlotte of Prussia), Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, at the Market Square, Helsinki, Market Square in Helsinki, Finland File: Washington October 2016-6.jpg, The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., built between 1848 and 1884 to commemorate George Washington File: Obelisk at night.JPG, The Obelisco de Buenos Aires, Obelisk of Buenos Aires, erected in 1936 to commemorate the quadricentennial of the foundation of the city File:Merdeka Square Monas 02.jpg, The National Monument (Indonesia), National Monument in Jakarta, built in 1961–1975 to commemorate the Indonesian National Revolution, struggle for Indonesian independence


Others usages

In Rome, the Via della Conciliazione, cleared in 1936–1950 to link Saint Peter's Basilica to the centre of the capital is lined with obelisks serving as lampposts. In France and other European countries, monuments to the dead, such as headstones and grave markers, were very often given a form of obelisks, but they are of more modest size. The practice is also still widespread in the Islamic world. Modern obelisks have also been used in surveying as boundary markers. File:St peters vat distance.jpg, A view from ground level of the Via della Conciliazione in Rome File:Grab Ludwig van Beethoven Wiener Zentralfriedhof 2020-01-30 21.jpg, Grave of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) in the central cemetery of Vienna File:Tombe JEAN BAPTISTE HUBERT à YVES --17 --.JPG, Grave of Jean-Baptiste Hubert (1781–1845) in the cemetery of Yves, Charente-Maritime (France) File:Islamic cemetery in Sarajevo.jpg, Islamic cemetery in Sarajevo, with columnar headstones


Recent erections of Egyptian obelisks

In late summer 1999, Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehner teamed up with a ''Nova (American TV program), NOVA'' crew to erect a 25-ton obelisk. This was the third attempt to erect a 25-ton obelisk; the first two, in 1994 and 1999, ended in failure. There were also two successful attempts to raise a 2-ton obelisk and a 9-ton obelisk. Finally in August–September 1999, after learning from their experiences, they were able to erect one successfully. First Hopkins and Rais Abdel Aleem organized an experiment to tow a block of stone weighing about 25 tons. They prepared a path by embedding wooden rails into the ground and placing a sledge on them bearing a megalith weighing about 25 tons. Initially they used more than 100 people to try to tow it but were unable to budge it. Finally, with well over 130 people pulling at once and an additional dozen using levers to prod the sledge forward, they moved it. Over the course of a day, the workers towed it 10–20 feet. Despite problems with broken ropes, they proved the monument could be moved this way. Additional experiments were done in Egypt and other locations to tow megalithic stone with ancient technologies, some of which are List of megalithic sites#List of efforts to move and install stones, listed here. One experiment was to transport a small obelisk on a barge in the Nile River. The barge was built based on ancient Egyptian designs. It had to be very wide to handle the obelisk, with a 2 to 1 ratio length to width, and it was at least twice as long as the obelisk. The obelisk was about long and no more than . A barge big enough to transport the largest Egyptian obelisks with this ratio would have had to be close to and . The workers used ropes that were wrapped around a guide that enabled them to pull away from the river while they were towing it onto the barge. The barge was successfully launched into the Nile. The final and successful erection event was organized by Rick Brown, Hopkins, Lehner and Gregg Mullen in a Massachusetts quarry. The preparation work was done with modern technology, but experiments have proven that with enough time and people, it could have been done with ancient technology. To begin, the obelisk was lying on a gravel and stone ramp. A pit in the middle was filled with dry sand. Previous experiments showed that wet sand would not flow as well. The ramp was secured by stone walls. Men raised the obelisk by slowly removing the sand while three crews of men pulled on ropes to control its descent into the pit. The back wall was designed to guide the obelisk into its proper place. The obelisk had to catch a turning groove which would prevent it from sliding. They used brake ropes to prevent it from going too far. Such turning grooves had been found on the ancient pedestals. Gravity did most of the work until the final 15° had to be completed by pulling the obelisk forward. They used brake ropes again to make sure it did not fall forward. On 12 September they completed the project. This experiment has been used to explain how the obelisks may have been erected in Luxor and other locations. It seems to have been supported by a 3,000 year-old papyrus scroll in which one scribe taunts another to erect a monument for "thy lord". The scroll reads "Empty the space that has been filled with sand beneath the monument of thy Lord." To erect the obelisks at Luxor with this method would have involved using over a million cubic meters of stone, mud brick and sand for both the ramp and the platform used to lower the obelisk.''Time Life Lost Civilizations series: Ramses II: Magnificence on the Nile'', New York: TIME/Life, 1993, pp. 56–57 The largest obelisk successfully erected in ancient times weighed . A stele was found in Axum, but researchers believe it was broken while attempting to erect it.


See also

*List of megalithic sites *List of obelisks *List of pre-Columbian engineering projects in the Americas *Phallic architecture *Dagger (mark), also known as obelisk *Washington Monument


Notes


References

* Curran, Brian A., Anthony Grafton, Pamela O. Long, and Benjamin Weiss. ''Obelisk: A History''. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009. . * Chaney, Edward, "Roma Britannica and the Cultural Memory of Egypt: Lord Arundel and the Obelisk of Domitian", in ''Roma Britannica: Art Patronage and Cultural Exchange in Eighteenth-Century Rome'', eds. D. Marshall, K. Wolfe and S. Russell, British School at Rome, 2011, pp. 147–70. * Iversen, Erik, ''Obelisks in exile''. Copenhagen, Vol. 1 1968, Vol. 2 1972 * Wirsching, Armin, ''Obelisken transportieren und aufrichten in Aegypten und in Rom''. Norderstedt: Books on Demand 2007 (3rd ed. 2013),


External links


Obelisks of the World
(series of articles in Platner's ''A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome'' 1929)
History of the obelisk of Arles
(in French)

depicting how he erected the Vatican obelisk in 1586.

*[http://cdm.reed.edu/ara-pacis/altar/related-material/obelisk-1/ Obelisk of Psametik II from Heliopolis, removed and reerected by Augustus in the northern Campus Martius, Rome] {{Authority control Obelisks, Ancient Egyptian architecture Monoliths Types of monuments and memorials Outdoor sculptures Sculpture Stone monuments and memorials Garden features Ancient Egyptian technology Egyptian inventions