Obelisk

Last updated

One of the two Luxor obelisks, in the Place de la Concorde in Paris; a red granite monolithic column, 23 metres (75 feet) high, including the base, which weighs over 250 metric tons (280 short tons). Louxor obelisk Paris dsc00780.jpg
One of the two Luxor obelisks, in the Place de la Concorde in Paris; a red granite monolithic column, 23 metres (75 feet) high, including the base, which weighs over 250 metric tons (280 short ton s).

An obelisk ( /ˈɒbəlɪsk/ ; from Ancient Greek : ὀβελίσκοςobeliskos; [1] [2] diminutive of ὀβελόςobelos, "spit, nail, pointed pillar" [3] ) is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion at the top. These were originally called tekhenu by their builders, the Ancient Egyptians. The Greeks who saw them used the Greek term 'obeliskos' to describe them, and this word passed into Latin and ultimately English. [4] Ancient obelisks are monolithic; that is, they consist of a single stone. Most modern obelisks are made of several stones.

Pyramidion capstone of an Egyptian pyramid or obelisk

A pyramidion is the uppermost piece or capstone of an Egyptian pyramid or obelisk, in archaeological parlance. Speakers of the Ancient Egyptian language referred to pyramidia as benbenet and associated the pyramid as a whole with the sacred benben stone. During Egypt's Old Kingdom, pyramidia were generally made of diorite, granite, or fine limestone, then covered in gold or electrum; during the Middle Kingdom and through the end of the pyramid-building era, they were built from granite. A pyramidion was "covered in gold leaf to reflect the rays of the sun"; during Egypt's Middle Kingdom pyramidia were often "inscribed with royal titles and religious symbols".

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Ancient Greece Civilization belonging to an early period of Greek history

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Contents

The term stele is generally used for other monumental, upright, inscribed and sculpted stones.

Stele Stone or wooden slab erected for funerals or commemorative purposes

A stele, or occasionally stela, when derived from Latin, is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument. Grave stelae were often used for funerary or commemorative purposes. Stelae as slabs of stone would also be used as ancient Greek and Roman government notices or as boundary markers to mark borders or property lines.

Ancient obelisks

Egyptian

Pylon of the Temple of Luxor with the remaining obelisk (of two) in front (the second is in the Place de la Concorde in Paris). Pylons and obelisk Luxor temple.JPG
Pylon of the Temple of Luxor with the remaining obelisk (of two) in front (the second is in the Place de la Concorde in Paris).
Obelisk of Pharaoh Senusret I, Al-Maalla area of Al-Matariyyah district in modern Heliopolis. Heliopolis200501.JPG
Obelisk of Pharaoh Senusret I, Al-Maalla area of Al-Matariyyah district in modern Heliopolis.

Obelisks played a vital role in their religion and were prominent in the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, who placed them in pairs at the entrance of the temples. The word "obelisk" as used in English today is of Greek rather than Egyptian origin because Herodotus, 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" found partly hewn from its quarry at Aswan. These obelisks are now dispersed around the world, and fewer than half of them remain in Egypt.

Egyptian temple Structures for official worship of the gods and commemoration of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt

Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods and in commemoration of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt and regions under Egyptian control. Temples were seen as houses for the gods or kings to whom they were dedicated. Within them, the Egyptians performed a variety of rituals, the central functions of Egyptian religion: giving offerings to the gods, reenacting their mythological interactions through festivals, and warding off the forces of chaos. These rituals were seen as necessary for the gods to continue to uphold maat, the divine order of the universe. Housing and caring for the gods were the obligations of pharaohs, who therefore dedicated prodigious resources to temple construction and maintenance. Out of necessity, pharaohs delegated most of their ritual duties to a host of priests, but most of the populace was excluded from direct participation in ceremonies and forbidden to enter a temple's most sacred areas. Nevertheless, a temple was an important religious site for all classes of Egyptians, who went there to pray, give offerings, and seek oracular guidance from the god dwelling within.

Herodotus Ancient Greek historian

Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. He is widely considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and then critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is often referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero.

Aswan City in Egypt

Aswan is a city in the south of Egypt, and is the capital of the Aswan Governorate.

The earliest temple obelisk still in its original position is the 68-foot (20.7 m)120- metric-ton (130- short-ton ) [5] red granite Obelisk of Senusret I of the XIIth Dynasty at Al-Matariyyah in modern Heliopolis. [6]

Temple structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities

A temple is a building reserved for religious or spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. It is typically used for such buildings belonging to all faiths where a more specific term such as church, mosque or synagogue is not generally used in English. These include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism among religions with many modern followers, as well as other ancient religions such as Ancient Egyptian religion.

Tonne Metric unit of mass

The tonne, commonly referred to as the metric ton in the United States and Canada, is a non-SI metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms or one megagram. It is equivalent to approximately 2,204.6 pounds, 1.102 short tons (US) or 0.984 long tons (UK). Although not part of the SI, the tonne is accepted for use with SI units and prefixes by the International Committee for Weights and Measures.

The short ton is a unit of mass equal to 2,000 pounds-mass. The unit is most commonly used in the United States where it is known simply as the ton.

The obelisk symbolized the sun god Ra, and during the religious reformation of Akhenaten it was said to have been a petrified ray of the Aten, the sundisk. It was also thought that the god existed within the structure.

Ra ancient Egyptian solar deity

Ra or Re is the ancient Egyptian deity of the sun. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BC, he had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. Ra was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld. He was the god of the sun, order, kings, power, and the sky.

Akhenaten 18th dynasty pharaoh

Akhenaten, known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC. He is noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, which is sometimes described as monolatristic, henotheistic, or even quasi-monotheistic. An early inscription likens the Aten to the sun as compared to stars, and later official language avoids calling the Aten a god, giving the solar deity a status above mere gods.

Aten ancient Egyptian god

Aten is the disc of the sun in ancient Egyptian mythology, and originally an aspect of the god Ra. The deified Aten is the focus of the monotheistic religion of Atenism established by Amenhotep IV, who later took the name Akhenaten in worship and recognition of Aten. In his poem "Great Hymn to the Aten", Akhenaten praises Aten as the creator, giver of life, and nurturing spirit of the world. Aten does not have a Creation Myth or family but is mentioned in the Book of the Dead. The worship of Aten was eradicated by Horemheb.

Benben was the mound that arose from the primordial waters Nu upon which the creator god Atum settled in the creation story of the Heliopolitan creation myth form of Ancient Egyptian religion. The Benben stone (also known as a pyramidion) is the top stone of the Egyptian pyramid. It is also related to the Obelisk.

Benben egyptology

Benben was the mound that arose from the primordial waters Nu upon which the creator deity Atum settled in the creation myth of the Heliopolitan form of ancient Egyptian religion. The Benben stone is the top stone of the pyramid. It is also related to the Obelisk.

Atum Ancient Egyptian creator deity

Atum, sometimes rendered as Atem or Tem, is an important deity in Egyptian mythology.

Ancient Egyptian creation myths ancient Egyptian accounts of the creation of the world

Ancient Egyptian creation myths are the ancient Egyptian accounts of the creation of the world. The Pyramid Texts, tomb wall decorations and writings, dating back to the Old Kingdom have given us most of our information regarding early Egyptian creation myths. These myths also form the earliest religious compilations in the world. The ancient Egyptians had many creator gods and associated legends. Thus the world or more specifically Egypt was created in diverse ways according to different parts of the country.

It is hypothesized by New York University Egyptologist Patricia Blackwell Gary and Astronomy senior editor Richard Talcott that the shapes of the ancient Egyptian pyramid and obelisk were derived from natural phenomena associated with the sun (the sun-god Ra being the Egyptians' greatest deity). [7] The pyramid and obelisk's significance have been previously overlooked, especially the astronomical phenomena connected with sunrise and sunset: the zodiacal light and sun pillars respectively.

Nubian

Ancient 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 built at least one obelisk. The obelisk was made of local black granite 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. Today the obelisk in exhibited in the National Museum in Khartoum. [8] 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 [...]. [9]

A obelisk of King Senkamanisken was found at Gebel Barkal in 1916 by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition to Sudan. There are remains of another small obelisk inscribed with the cartouche of King Aktisanes at the site of Gebel Barkal. [10]

Ancient Egyptian obelisks in Ancient Rome

Around 30 B.C., after Cleopatra "the last Pharaoh" committed suicide, Rome took control of Egypt. The Ancient Romans were awestruck by the obelisks, and looted the complex to the extent that they destroyed walls at the Temple of Karnak to haul out obelisks. 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 in the square at the west side of the Lateran Basilica in Rome at 105.6 feet (32.2 m) tall and a weight of 455 metric tons (502 short tons). [11]

Not all the Egyptian obelisks in the Roman Empire were set up at Rome. Herod the Great imitated his Roman patrons and set up a red granite Egyptian obelisk in the hippodrome of his new city Caesarea in northern Judea. This one is about 40 feet (12 m) tall and weighs about 100 metric tons (110 short tons). [12] It was discovered by archaeologists and has been re-erected at its former site.

In 335 A.D., Constantine I ordered the removal of two of Karnak's obelisks. One was sent to Constantinople, the Eastern Emperor Theodosius took the obelisk and had it set up in a hippodrome, where it has weathered Crusaders and Seljuks and stands in the Hippodrome square which is now called Istanbul. This one stood 95 feet (29 m) tall and weighing 380 metric tons (420 short tons). Its lower half reputedly also once stood in Istanbul but is now lost. The Istanbul obelisk is 65 feet (20 m) tall. [13]

The other was transported to Rome and is probably the most well-known 25 metres (82 ft), 331-metric-ton (365-short-ton) obelisk at Saint Peter's Square in the world. [11] The obelisk had stood since AD 37 on its site and on the wall of the Circus of Nero, flanking St Peter's Basilica:

"The elder Pliny in his Natural History refers to the obelisk's transportation from Egypt to Rome by order of the Emperor Gaius (Caligula) as an outstanding event. The barge that carried it had a huge mast of fir wood which four men's arms could not encircle. One hundred and twenty bushels of lentils were needed for ballast. Having fulfilled its purpose, the gigantic vessel was no longer wanted. Therefore, filled with stones and cement, it was sunk to form the foundations of the foremost quay of the new harbour at Ostia." [14]

Re-erecting the obelisk had daunted even Michelangelo, but Sixtus V was determined to erect it 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, the assistant of Giacomo Della Porta 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.

The obelisk, half-buried in the debris of the ages, 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, 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), [15] [16] which itself set a new standard in communicating technical information and influenced subsequent architectural publications by its meticulous precision. [17] 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 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: the one behind Santa Maria Maggiore (1587), the giant obelisk at the Lateran Basilica (1588), and the one at Piazza del Popolo (1589). [18]

An obelisk stands in front of the church of Trinità dei Monti, at the head of the Spanish Steps. Another obelisk in Rome is sculpted as carried on the back of an elephant. Rome lost one of its obelisks, the Boboli obelisk which had decorated the temple of Isis, where it was uncovered in the 16th century. The Medici claimed it for the Villa Medici, but in 1790 they moved it to the Boboli Gardens attached to the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, and left a replica in its stead.

Ancient Egyptian obelisks in modern cities

Tip of Hatshepsut's fallen obelisk, Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor, Egypt Obelisk5.jpg
Tip of Hatshepsut's fallen obelisk, Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor, Egypt

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 21-metre (69 ft)187-metric-ton (206-short-ton) Cleopatra's Needles in London, England (21 metres or 69 feet) and New York City, USA (21 metres or 70 feet) and the 23-metre (75 ft) over-250-metric-ton (280-short-ton) Luxor Obelisk at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. [19]

Obelisks were being shipped out of Egypt as late as the nineteenth century when three of them were sent to London, New York and Paris. Their transportation was covered by various newspapers. [20]

The Obelisk of Tuthmosis III, Istanbul, Turkey Hippodrome Oblisk.jpg
The Obelisk of Tuthmosis III, Istanbul, Turkey
The Dutch Golden Age painter Bartholomeus Breenbergh placed an obelisk in the background of his 1655 painting Joseph Sells Grain Bartholomeus Breenbergh 002.jpg
The Dutch Golden Age painter Bartholomeus Breenbergh placed an obelisk in the background of his 1655 painting Joseph Sells Grain

There are ancient Egyptian obelisks in the following locations:

Assyrian

Obelisk monuments are also known from the Assyrian civilization, where they were erected as public monuments that commemorated the achievements of the Assyrian king.

The British Museum possesses four Assyrian obelisks:

The White Obelisk of Ashurnasirpal I (named due to its colour), was discovered by Hormuzd Rassam in 1853 at Nineveh. The obelisk was erected by either Ashurnasirpal I (1050–1031 BC) or Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BC). 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, was found on the citadel of Nimrud (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. [23]

The Black Obelisk was discovered by Sir Austen Henry Layard in 1846 on the citadel of Kalhu. The obelisk was erected by Shalmaneser III and the reliefs depict scenes of tribute bearing as well as the depiction of two subdued rulers, Jehu the Israelite and Sua the Gilzanean, giving 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 has been reconstructed in the British Museum. The obelisk is the oldest recorded obelisk from Assyria, dating to the 11th century BC. [24]

Axumite (Ethiopia)

King Ezana's Stele in Axum. Stela aksum.jpg
King Ezana's Stele in Axum.

A number of obelisks were carved in the ancient Axumite Kingdom of today northern Ethiopia. Together with (21-metre-high or 69-foot) King Ezana's Stele, the last erected one and the only unbroken, the most famous example of axumite obelisk is the so-called (24-metre-high or 79-footh) Obelisk of Axum. It was carved around the 4th century AD 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, looted and taken to Rome in 1937, where it stood in the Piazza di Porta Capena. Italy agreed in a 1947 UN 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 33 metres (108 ft) high and 3 m (9.8 ft) by 2 m (6 ft 7 in) at the base (520 metric tons or 570 short tons) [25] 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 Walled Obelisk in Sultanahmet Square Orme dikilitas.JPG
The Walled Obelisk in Sultanahmet Square

The Romans commissioned obelisks in an ancient Egyptian style. Examples include:

Byzantine

Pre-Columbian

The prehistoric Tello Obelisk, found in 1919 at Chavín de Huantar in Peru, is a monolith stele with obelisk-like proportions. It 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 archeologist. [28]

Erection experiments

In late summer 1999, Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehner teamed up with a 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 two-ton obelisk and a nine-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 to 20 feet. Despite problems with broken ropes, they proved the monument could be moved this way. [29] Additional experiments were done in Egypt and other locations to tow megalithic stone with ancient technologies, some of which are 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 3.0 metres (10 ft) long and no more than 5 metric tons (5.5 short tons). A barge big enough to transport the largest Egyptian obelisks with this ratio would have had to be close to 61-metre-long (200 ft) and 30-metre-wide (100 ft). 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. [30]

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." [31] 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. [32] The largest obelisk successfully erected in ancient times weighed 455 metric tons (502 short tons). A 520-metric-ton (570-short-ton) stele was found in Axum, but researchers believe it was broken while attempting to erect it.

See also

Notes

  1. ὀβελίσκος . Liddell, Henry George ; Scott, Robert ; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  2. Harper, Douglas. "obelisk". Online Etymology Dictionary .
  3. οβελός  in Liddell and Scott.
  4. Baker, Rosalie F.; Charles Baker (2001). Ancient Egyptians: People of the Pyramids. Oxford University Press. p. 69. ISBN   978-0195122213 . Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  5. "NOVA Online | Mysteries of the Nile | A World of Obelisks: Cairo". Pbs.org. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  6. Griffith, Francis Llewellyn (1911). "Obelisk"  . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 945.
  7. Patricia Blackwell Gary and Richard Talcott, "Stargazing in Ancient Egypt", Astronomy , June 2006, pp. 62–67.
  8. Lacovara, Petere (2018). "Pyramids and Obelisks Beyond Egypt". Aegyptiaca (2): 130. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  9. Tormod, Eide. "Fontes historiae Nubiorum: Textual Sources for the History of the Middle Nile Region between the Eighth Century BC and the Sixth Century AD". 1 (54): 54.
  10. Lacovara, Petere (2018). "Pyramids and Obelisks Beyond Egypt". Aegyptiaca (2): 131-135. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  11. 1 2 "NOVA Online | Mysteries of the Nile | A World of Obelisks: Rome". Pbs.org. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  12. "Caesarea Obelisk". Highskyblue.web.fc2.com. 18 June 2001. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  13. "NOVA Online | Mysteries of the Nile | A World of Obelisks: Istanbul". Pbs.org. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  14. James Lees-Milne, Saint Peter's (1967).
  15. "Della trasportatione dellªobelisco Vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto ..." purl.pt.
  16. "Della trasportatione dell'obelisco vaticano et delle fabriche di nostro signore papa Sisto V fatte dal cavallier Domenico Fontana, architetto di Sva Santita, libro primo. – NYPL Digital Collections" . Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  17. "Martayan Lan Rare Books". Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  18. Fontana, Domenico (1590). "Della trasportatione dell'obel – Titelansicht – ETH-Bibliothek Zürich (NEBIS) – e-rara". doi:10.3931/e-rara-117.
  19. "NOVA Online | Mysteries of the Nile | A World of Obelisks". Pbs.org. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  20. 1 2 Brier, Bob (2018). "The Secret Life of the Paris Obelisk". Aegyptiaca (2): 75-91. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  21. "History of the Egyptian Obelisks" . Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  22. "Obelisk of Ramesses II in the Museum's courtyard" . Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  23. "Collection object details". British Museum.
  24. "Collection object details". British Museum.
  25. "The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World" edited by Chris scarre 1999
  26. "museodelsannio.com" . Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  27. "Domitian Obelisk". highskyblue.web.fc2.com.
  28. Richard L. Burger, Abstract of "The Life and Writings of Julio C. Tello", University of Iowa Press, accessed 27 September 2010
  29. "Dispatches", NOVA
  30. "Mysteries of the Nile | August 27, 1999: The Third Attempt". Pbs.org. 27 August 1999. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  31. NOVA (TV series) Secrets of Lost Empire II: "Pharaoh's Obelisks"
  32. Time Life Lost Civilizations series: Ramses II: Magnificence on the Nile, New York: TIME/Life, 1993, pp. 56–57

Related Research Articles

Karnak Ancient Egyptian temple complex

The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings near Luxor, in Egypt. Construction at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut and the main place of worship of the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.

Luxor City in Egypt

Luxor is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt and the capital of Luxor Governorate. The population numbers 506,588, with an area of approximately 417 square kilometres (161 sq mi).

Hippodrome of Constantinople Historic hippodrome in Istanbul

The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with a few fragments of the original structure surviving.

History of ancient Egypt aspect of history

The history of ancient Egypt spans the period from the early prehistoric settlements of the northern Nile valley to the Roman conquest, in 30 BC. The Pharaonic Period is dated from the 32nd century BC, when Upper and Lower Egypt were unified, until the country fell under Macedonian rule, in 332 BC.

Cleopatras Needle set of Egyptian obelisks known as Cleopatras Needle at some point in time

Cleopatra's Needle is the popular name for each of three Ancient Egyptian obelisks re-erected in London, Paris, and New York City during the nineteenth century. The obelisks in London and New York are a pair; the one in Paris is also part of a pair originally from a different site in Luxor, where its twin remains. Although all three needles are genuine Ancient Egyptian obelisks, their shared nickname is a misnomer, as they have no connection with the Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and were already over a thousand years old in her lifetime. An earlier reference states Queen Cleopatra brought the London obelisk from Heliopolis to Alexandria shortly before the time of Christ for the purpose of decorating a new temple but it was never erected and lay buried in sand on the shore until presented to the British nation in 1819. The London and New York needles were originally made during the reign of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Thutmose III. The Paris needle dates to the reign of the 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II, and was the first to be moved and re-erected. The New York needle was the first to acquire the French nickname, "L'aiguille de Cléopâtre", when it stood in Alexandria.

Psamtik II Egyptian pharaoh

Psamtik II was a king of the Saite-based Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt. His prenomen, Nefer-Ib-Re, means "Beautiful [is the] Heart [of] Re." He was the son of Necho II.

Ramesseum memorial temple of Ramesses II

The Ramesseum is the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II. It is located in the Theban necropolis in Upper Egypt, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor. The name – or at least its French form, Rhamesséion – was coined by Jean-François Champollion, who visited the ruins of the site in 1829 and first identified the hieroglyphs making up Ramesses's names and titles on the walls. It was originally called the House of millions of years of Usermaatra-setepenra that unites with Thebes-the-city in the domain of Amon.Usermaatra-setepenra was the prenomen of Ramesses II.

Colossi of Memnon Ancient Egyptian statues

The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned in Egypt during the Dynasty XVIII. For the past 3,400 years, they have stood in the Theban Necropolis, located west of the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.

Senenmut Egyptian architect (1600-1463)

Senenmut was an 18th dynasty ancient Egyptian architect and government official. His name translates literally as "mother's brother."

Pylon (architecture) monumental gateway of an Egyptian temple

Pylon is the Greek term for a monumental gateway of an Egyptian temple. It consists of two tapering towers, each surmounted by a cornice, joined by a less elevated section which enclosed the entrance between them. The entrance was generally about half the height of the towers. Contemporary paintings of pylons show them with long poles flying banners.

Precinct of Amun-Re building in Egypt

The Precinct of Amun-Re, located near Luxor, Egypt, is one of the four main temple enclosures that make up the immense Karnak Temple Complex. The precinct is by far the largest of these and the only one that is open to the general public. The temple complex is dedicated to the principal god of the Theban Triad, Amun, in the form of Amun-Re.

Ancient Egyptian architecture

Spanning over two thousand years in total, what is called ancient Egypt was not one stable civilization, but instead a civilization in constant change and upheaval commonly split into periods by historians. Likewise, ancient Egyptian architecture is not one style, but a set of styles with commonalities used during each period of ancient Egyptian history.

Unfinished obelisk Ancient obelisk

The unfinished obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk and is located in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt in Aswan, Egypt.

Architectural sculpture type of sculpture

Architectural sculpture is the use of sculptural techniques by an architect and/or sculptor in the design of a building, bridge, mausoleum or other such project. The sculpture is usually integrated with the structure, but freestanding works that are part of the original design are also considered to be architectural sculpture.

Stone quarries of ancient Egypt Aspect of Egyptian economy

The stone quarries of ancient Egypt once produced quality stone for the construction of decorative monuments such as sculptures and obelisks. These quarries are now recognised archaeological sites. Eighty percent of the ancient quarry sites are in the Nile valley; some of them have disappeared under the waters of Lake Nasser and some others were lost due to modern mining activity.

Lateran Obelisk obelisk

The Lateran Obelisk is the largest standing ancient Egyptian obelisk in the world, and it is also the tallest obelisk in Italy. It originally weighed 413 metric tons, but after collapsing and being re-erected 4 meters shorter, now weighs around 300 metric tons. It is located in Rome, in the square across from the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and the San Giovanni Addolorata Hospital.

Luxor Obelisk Egyptian obelisk in Paris

The Luxor Obelisk is a 23 metres (75 ft) high Ancient Egyptian obelisk standing at the centre of the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. It was originally located at the entrance to Luxor Temple, in Egypt. The Luxor Obelisk was classified as a historical monument in 1936.

Colossal red granite statue of Amenhotep III

The colossal red granite statue of Amenhotep III is a granite head of the 18th Dynasty Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Dating from around 1370 BC, it was found in the temple enclosure of Mut at Karnak in Upper Egypt. Two parts of the broken colossal statue are known: the head and an arm. Both parts are now in the British Museum.

References