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October 13, 2018

Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park

800px-Central_Park_New_York_May_2017_004

Who knew?

Not me, until I read this in the Economist: "The London obelisk is one of a pair. The other was given to America — and has also been largely forgotten. It sits in a lonely corner of Central Park in New York [above]."

Made of red granite and standing 69 feet high, it weighs about 200 tons and is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs.

From Wikipedia

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It was originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III in 1475 BCE.

The granite was brought from the quarries of Aswan, near the first cataract of the Nile.

The inscriptions were added about 200 years later by Ramesses II to commemorate his military victories.

The obelisk were moved to Alexandria and set up in the Caesareum — a temple built by Cleopatra in honor of Mark Antony or Julius Caesar — by the Romans in 12 BC, during the reign of Augustus, but was toppled some time later.

This had the fortuitous effect of burying the faces and so preserving most of the hieroglyphs from the effects of weathering.

October 13, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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