Unfinished obelisk

The Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan | Egypt Tour Packages

Ziad khalifa

Department of Civilization and History

  • 31 Mar, 2024

The Unfinished obelisk

The The Unfinished Obelisk was discovered in the early twentieth century after it had been covered by sand for thousands of years. Unfinished Obelisk was discovered in the early twentieth century after it had been covered by sand for thousands of years. .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. The obelisk and wider quarry were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 along with other examples of Upper Egyptian architecture, as part of the "Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae. It is the largest known ancient obelisk, and it was intended to be 42 meters (138 feet) tall and weigh 1,168 tons. However, it was never completed due to cracks that were discovered in the granite.

The Unfinished Obelisk Facts

its creation was ordered by Hatshepsut (1508–1458 BC), possibly to complement what would later be known as the Lateran Obelisk (which was originally at Karnak and was later brought to the Lateran Palace in Rome). The unfinished obelisk is nearly one-third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If finished it would have measured around 42 meters and would have weighed nearly 1,168 tons. The obelisk's creators began to carve it directly out of bedrock, but cracks appeared in the granite and the project was abandoned. The bottom side of the obelisk is still attached to the bedrock. The unfinished obelisk offers unusual insights into ancient Egyptian stone-working techniques, with marks from workers tools still clearly visible as well as ochre-colored lines marking where they were working. Besides the unfinished obelisk, an unfinished, partly worked obelisk base was discovered in 2005 at the quarries of Aswan. Also discovered were some rock carvings and remains that may correspond to the site where most of the famous obelisks were worked. All these quarries in Aswan and the unfinished objects are an open-air museum and are officially protected by the Egyptian government as an archeological site. 

The quarries of Aswan

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. The quarries of Aswan are located along the Nile in the city of  Aswan. Typical materials known from this site are Red, grey, and black granite. And Some of the monuments known to come from this site are The unfinished obelisk still on site, at the northern quarry, The unfinished partly worked obelisk base, discovered in 2005.

Unfinished Obelisk Entrance Fees

  • How much is entry to Unfinished obelisk ?

-For Egyption\Arab:

Adult: EGP 20
Student: EGP 10

-For Other Nationalty:

Adult: EGP 120
Student: EGP 60

  • Opening Hours ?

-All Days:  Working Hours: from 07:00 am to 04:00 pm

  • Free entry Policy

-Free entry for children below 6 years.
-Free entry for Egyptians & Arabs with special needs.
-Free entry for Egyptians and Arabs above 60 years.
-Photography with mobile phone is free of charge.

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