Comparison Between Egyptian and French Obelisks
|Criteria||Egyptian Obelisks||Obelisk of Arles|
|Materials||Obelisks were made from a single block of hard and durable granite rock||Red granite from Asia minor|
|Shape||- A monolithic stone with a quadrangular base, placed upright and ending with a pointed top
- The obelisk is composed of two parts:
- The length varied from less than 1 meter to 30 meters
|Strange shape with a thin top and a wide base
- Height: 15.78 meters
- Base diameter: 1.70 meters
- The point was topped with a bronze globe representing the sun, dotted with lotus flowers.
|Function and Use||
- Religious elements - Obelisks were symbols of the solar god Ra
- In the Architecture of temples they were placed in pairs, in front of entrance pylons and served to magically protect the temple
|- A Decorative element - the obelisk was a landmark in the heart of the Roman circus|
|Historical Development||- They arose, from the Pre-Dynastic Period, and were only fully developed during the New Kingdom,
all ancient obelisks still in existence were erected during the New Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Period
||- Erected under the Roman emperor Constantine in the 4th century in the center of the "spina" of the circus of Arles|
|Decorations||- Inscriptions on all four sides of the body
- Parts of the pyramidon were carved with bas-relief
|- The Roman obelisk is devoid of inscriptions|
|Historical heritage||- There are only 26 Egyptian obelisks still remaining at present, 8 are in Egypt
||- Abandoned and fell down in the 6th century.
- It was rediscovered in 1389, and Louis XIV placed at its present position in front of the town hall.
Video: ancient egypt obelisk - Temple of Karnak
Notice the precision used in building this huge, massive stone obelisks... perfectly symmetrical... astonishing! Hand carved they say.... do you believe it?!...