The Unfinished Obelisk

The Upper Egyptian city of Aswan has several ancient stone quarries. It is a reservoir of Egypt's finest granite. The northern quarries of Aswan hold the remains of The Unfinished Obelisk.


Had it been completed; this obelisk would have been the largest in Egypt. With a stunning height of 42 meters, The Unfinished Obelisk is the largest known monolith of Ancient Egypt. It weighs 1,200 tons and is one of the largest in the world.


The visible cracks on the Unfinished Obelisk's granite stone affirm the abandoned work on the monolith. Partially connected to the parent rock, it contains the marks the workers left while carving out the structure.


Structure Of The Obelisk


An obelisk is traditionally defined as a tall, slender monument that has four sides converging to the top.


A form of typical Greek architecture, The Unfinished Obelisk Of Aswan is the largest. Constructed by Queen Hatshepsut, the Egyptian Pharaoh, the obelisk was built following the Lateran Obelisk in the Karnak Temple Complex.


Why Is It Unfinished?


The obelisk never completed. During the block removal process from the mother bedrock, a huge crack appeared on the stone. It made the stone unusable.


Apart from this, the stone has no reusable value to the stonemasons today which ended in the complete abandonment of the obelisk.


How Was It Done???


The main tools employed for carving the monolith were small balls of Dolerite. Dolerite is a mineral that is harder than granite. The stone separation from the quarry was done making small cavities filled with water-soaked wood. Water was the cause of cavity expansion. The rock cracked due to expansion and got detached from the base. The undiscovered sculpting tools further prohibited discovery of their construction.


Myths Related To The Obelisk



  • You might also come across superstitious locals who associate supernatural powers with the large monolith.


  • They believe in the supernatural aura spared in cutting and deployment of the place.



The Unfinished Obelisk stands midst the hot sands with perfection and is a unique insight of the

Ancient Egyptian working technique. The huge structure beholds unspoken stories. For your obelisk sightseeing and to learn more about the obelisk book your tour.

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