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The Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut

Listed under Monuments & Landmarks in Luxor, Egypt.

Photo of The Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut
Photo by flickr user Son of Groucho
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The obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut (1473-1458BC) is 97 feet tall and weighs perhaps 350 tons. Obelisks were carved from single pieces of stone, usually pink granite from hundreds of miles away, but how they were transported and erected is a mystery. The use of the obelisks is another mystery and it has been suggested that their erection symbolized the Djed pillar, the Osirus symbol standing for the backbone of the physical world and the channel through which the divine spirit rose to rejoin its source. Obelisks were often erected in pairs and their dimensions were calculated according to geodetic data pertaining to the exact latitude and longitude where the obelisk was set. The shadows cast by the pair of unequal obelisks would enable the astronomer/priests to make precise astronomical observations and determine the ‘earth spirit’ periods. Curiously, if the base of an obelisk is struck with a large wooden mallet a particular, very low sound is created. Perhaps before the country-wide collection of obelisks suffered the losses of time and human depredations, a grand symphony of many instruments could be played; the sacred geometry of the obelisks creating the sacred geometry of musical notes and scales.

Photo: Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut, Temple of Karnak

More about the obelisk from Sacred Sites.

Written by  Martin Gray.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

cool how did you get the pictures of the oblestic like that

does hatshepsut have 1 or 2 obelisks?

i have no idea if it is 2 or 1 somethings say 2 others say 1.

1 Reply

Both are right - there were two but one broke and toppled over, so there's one still standing.

How did Queen Hatshepsut really dissapear?

This Question is about Queen Hatshepsut. So if you are a know-it-all of Queen Hatshepsut, you answer "How did Queen Hatshepsut really disappear?

Hatshepsut's Obelisk

“Americans relish their own ‘obelisk’ to General Washington; many have seen the one that pulls together the spaces in front of Saint Peter’s in Rome (in A. D. 37, it was brought to Italy by Caligula); and the fortunate have visited the mightly obelisks in Karnak. Yet few travelers to Karnak approach Hatshepsut’s masterpiece closely enough to examine the craftsmanship and design felicity that characterize its inscriptions. (Though a heraldic feature of most ancient Egyptian temples, not all obelisks carried such peaeans to their builders.) The carving on this 97-foot- high polished red granite shaft is almost jewel-like in its precision.…The Temple of Karnak itself is largely in ruins, but its 3,450-year-old obelisk remains to remind us of the brilliance of ancient Egyptian culture.” - from G.E. Kidder Smith

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