The Unfinished Obelisk

The Unfinished Obelisk

The Unfinished Obelisk is one of the most popular historical sites in the magnificent city of Aswan. Almost all tours to Egypt that include a visit to Aswan have a visit to the Unfinished Obelisk included. Apart from its gigantic size and historical significance, the Unfinished Obelisk serves as a live documentation and demonstration of the process of obelisk building in ancient Egypt.


Situated in the Southern section of the city of Aswan, the Unfinished Obelisk is in the ancient granite quarry that was used as far as the ruling period of the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt and perhaps before that.


Many historians and scholars have asserted that the unfinished obelisk was in process of being constructed in the ruling period of Queen Hatshepsut who ruled Egypt in the period from the end of the 16th century until the middle of the 15th century BC.


If the Unfinished Obelisk were constructed as it was planned, it would have become the largest and tallest obelisk ever created by ancient Egyptians. It was even claimed that it would have been the largest piece of rock ever humans dealt with.


The Unfinished Obelisk is still attached to the original rock it was supposed to be cut out from until today. There are many marks of how the ancient Egyptians tried to cut it and construct one of their marvelous obelisks.


However, due to an unwanted split near its top, the workers had to abandon the whole process and they left it in its place for thousands of years to amaze tourists coming from all over the world to visit Egypt.




With being 41 meters high, the length of the base being 4 meters, and with a weight that exceeds more than 1169 tons, the Unfinished Obelisk, although it is now lying down in the quarries, is quite impressive and gigantic.


Tourists enter from the gate situated in the Eastern section of the site. Afterwards they keep moving until they reach the unfinished obelisk where they can move all around it and admire its greatness.


Obelisks, the same as the pyramids, are magnificent surviving evidences of how great and creative the ancient Egyptians were. Just think of how the Pharaohs were able to cut this huge piece of granite, transfer it, and pull it to be standing still for thousands of years.


An Obelisk is an architectural element with four sides that end with a pyramid shaped top. Afterwards, texts and different carvings were added to the obelisk referring to the greatness and the achievements of the king who created it.


Then ancient Egyptian had many objectives in mind when he thought of creating obelisks that were first created in the reign of the New Kingdom. He wanted, first, to add a decoration item to the left or to the right of the entrance gates of many ancient Egyptian temples. Obelisks had another religious significance as the Pharaohs considered as the open link between earth and the gods in the sky.

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