• +201112013927

The Unfinished Obelisk

The Ancient Egyptians used to extract the granite used in the noble parts of their constructions (pyramids , sanctuaries , altars , statues , etc) from Aswan quarries .

The Unfinished Obelisk , which still remains in situation attached to the rock on one side , is a gigantic single piece of granite that was intended by Hatshepsut to be the biggest obelisk ever erected for her father , god Amun , in her temple , at Deir el-Bahari Temple . We can also see reliefs describing how obelisks were being transported .
There are several theories concerning how obelisks and the huge blocks of granite were split away from its surrounding rock . Some talk about cutting a groove along the line where the stone was to be detached and then driven in wooden wedges which were soaked with water . The force of the swelling wood would act to split the granite like what was being done during the Roman times . Another theory talks about cutting a groove and then drop and abrade it . It would then be heated with charcoal and rapidly cooled with water causing the stone to split .
The obelisk would have had 42m long and would have weighed more than 1200 tons . However , a flaw during quarrying was discovered and the obelisk was never finished . Another intent was to extract a minor obelisk however it failed and the project was abandoned to leave us an amazing testimony of how the Pharaonic monuments were being constructed .
In the same site of the granite quarries , hieroglyphic inscriptions were discovered which date back to year 25 of the reign of Tuthmosis III . They were giving instructions for the quarrying of two large obelisks that were to be erected in the Karnak Temple and to be dedicated to Amun-Re . A harbor from where the stone was being shipped to the north was also discovered in the nearby