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Ways to Experience Unfinished Obelisk
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All reviews granite quarry ancient egyptians solid rock stone blocks understand how red granite mind boggling quick visit ancient times short visit well worth the visit nile river nubian museum crack quarries climb bedrock
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Reviewed March 9, 2017

The unfinished obelisk is located in a quarry that the ancient Egyptians used as their source for obelisks in Luxor. It is not a walkable distance from city center even though the site is located near the cemetery behind the Nubian Museum. This visit was an excursion from Uniworld's Nile River cruise so our tour bus drove us there. It did help to have a guide explain how the ancient Egyptians carved, loosened, and, then, floated these hefty stones on boats to temples in Luxor. He showed us, first, the type of rock that would have been used as a tool to chip the stone away from the obelisk. These balls of rock were within easy reach for guides to demonstrate how to chip rock with them. It took thousands of workers about 7 months to loosen an obelisk. When the flood waters reached the quarry, the obelisk was floated on boats to Luxor. Our guide then explained how the obelisk would have been raised at its site.

It was an amazing walk around the partially loosened obelisk. Deep trenches, about 2 feet, on either side of the obelisk had been hollowed out all around the stone. It had the shape of an obelisk with a point carved for the tip. When the obelisk developed several fissures noticeable at its base, one running up its middle for a short distance, it was abandoned. There were no hieroglyphics or reliefs carved onto this obelisk. I could better appreciate the length of an obelisk after seeing one lying prone in this quarry. The stone in this quarry was a rose granite.

All around the prone obelisk, I could see where other obelisks had once been loosened. These pits still showed gouges in straight lines where the workers had scraped the stone away from its bed. I could also see sheer sides of rock where another obelisk had been loosened from the surrounding rock. It was just an amazing sight.

Since the quarry is some distance away from the Nile River, I really could not understand how the Egyptians floated these huge pieces of stone to waiting boats and that those boats didn't sink during the transportation process.

There is a bit of a climb in the quarry to reach the prone obelisk, but wood stairs and slats do help out. When we visited, the temperature was comfortable. in the mid-20's, but, when temperatures soar, this site would be extremely hot in the mid-day sun. There is no shade and if you want to rest it will be on the rocks. There were no signs at the quarry for explanations. We had a 30 minute visit at this site. It was a worthwhile stop, particularly if one has seen the Luxor obelisks.

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank retireeVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2017 via mobile

Certainly worth the visit to gain a perspective of how an obelisk was chosen and the method of quarrying it. The rocks surrounding it are also attractive.

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank Adrienne G A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2017

It's nice to see the infinished Obelisk, but there is nothing else of interest om the site. There are no interpretive signs or panels so a visit will last less than 1 hour. Compared to the entrance fee of other tempels, museums etc this is expensive.

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank Alex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2017

The abandonment of this obelisk when the rock split has provided us with an interesting insight into how the ancient Egyptians quarried their stone.

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank Mike S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2017

We stopped here for about 20 minutes while we were on a tour of the area. It was very interesting to learn about how they carved out an obelisk from granite bedrock. Too bad a crack developed and they had to abandon the project after so much hard work.

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank MissyButt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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