You can see a true Egyptian obelisk that is intact in two different places. There were the Cleopatra's Needles that were found in Heliopolis, Ancient Egypt. In the 1800's when these were uncovered, one was shipped off to New York, New York and the other was sent to London, England. Even though these take quite a traveling trip to see, it would be TOTALLY worth it in the long run!
Monday, December 15, 2008
There are many ancient Egyptian obelisks that have been uncovered from the past. There was one built during the time of King Tuthmosis I. It was 75ft tall and about 160 tons, but that's just a baby compared to some. Another was built by Queen Hatshepsut and weighed in at 700 tons with 100 ft in height. Still not huge if you look at the unfinished obelisk found in a trench that is over 41m tall and 1170 tons! Just think if it had been finished. It is unknown who put the order in to build this monster.
There are tons of different obelisks, but I can describe what most are thought to have looked like. They were built in pairs in front of the temples. All obelisks were fatter at the top than at the bottom. After being dragged to the raising site, they would polish it. Then they had Egyptian picture writing (hieroglyphs) inscriptions painted on them and carvings of the pharaoh, royalty, or sun god. After they painted inscriptions on them, they went to the second polishing before, in some cases, painting the top pyramid in a sleek electrum(a mixture of silver and gold). The writing was usually praises to the pharaoh. Sometimes they also built these for worship to Re, the sun god. A couple real world examples are the Washington monument in D.C. and the Bunker Hill monument in Boston.
Friday, December 12, 2008
They began building these stone needles around 1500 B.C. It required a gigantic wooden boat (yes, you heard that right! A GIGANTIC BOAT) to bring the whole chunk of red granite from the quarry next to the Aswan Dam. When the boat had finished the journey to the raising site of the obelisk they dumped it out onto some big thing to slide it across the Egyptian desert sand. No one knows how these were raised yet. (I think someone has been slacking for a while!)
They chose to use their valuable time to build these red granite behemoths because they honored a great pharaoh. The people did not choose to build these though, the order was put in by the "o so great pharaoh" themselves. So whether the people thought of these pharaohs as almighty or not they still had to build them or face the consequences :0! It was also thought to be a helpful tool for the pharaoh to climb to the sun god, Re, or to the very high heavens after death for their never-ending afterlife. The afterlife was the thing that all Egyptians looked forward to in life, or technically, after. (YAY!)