This Unfinished Obelisk Might Be the Most Fascinating Discovery of the Ancient World

By: Lydia Iseh | Last updated: Sep 30, 2023

Have you ever wondered what lies beneath an unfinished masterpiece like the Aswan Obelisk? Beneath the sands of Egypt lies an unfinished obelisk, waiting to be revealed.

Let’s delve into the realm of mystery as we reveal the story of the Unfinished Obelisk. Prepare to be thrilled by the wonder that could rewrite history books and leave you spellbound.

Egypt's Magnificent Aswan Obelisk Beckons

Of all the things scientists have dug up from the ancient world, this Obelisk is a masterpiece that demands the attention of both young and old.


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This obelisk is not only breathtaking, but it is a jewel that every parent dreams of sharing with their children. Let’s call that living proof of the human legacy.

Why the Unfinished Aswan Obelisk Demands Attention

The obelisk was cut down from a single piece of pink granite in a quarry in Aswan during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut (1478-1458 BCE) of the 18th Dynasty. But because of the crack that appeared during its construction, the obelisk was abandoned, earning its name as the “Unfinished Obelisk.”


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The Unfinished Aswan Obelisk offers insight into the ancient techniques and technology utilized by the ancient Egyptians in carving huge stone structures. Also, it provides opportunities for archaeologists and historians to examine the step-by-step process of obelisk construction, which remains a stunt by modern-day standards.

The Obelsik's Towering Height

We can call the Aswan Obelisk a masterpiece that reaches toward the heavens. Standing at a stunning 140 feet (42.7 meters), it commands attention that inspires awe in all who look at it. The magnitude of the obelisk’s height shows the engineering creativity of the ancient Egyptians.


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Just imagine standing at the base, cleaning your neck to gaze up at the structure that seemingly defies gravity. What makes the Aswan Obelisk’s height even more remarkable is that it has never fallen or been buried throughout the centuries.

The Granite and Chisel Mastery of the Aswan Obelisk

To begin the labor, the artisans selected a massive block of granite because of its durability and shiny property. Granite, a hard and dense igneous rock, provided the perfect canvas for their chisels to show the obelisk’s details.


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In addition to the granite, the artisans used pounding stones, wooden wedges, and chopper chisels to extract the obelisk from the bedrock. However, the construction of the Aswan Obelisk was left unfinished. Yet even in its incomplete state, the mastery of the granite and chisel work remains evident.

Cutting Holes and the Power of Water

To free the obelisk from the rock, they chiseled and drilled the holes in the bottom part, following a pattern. These holes were positioned to guide the next process. After the holes were in place, the artisans attempted to exploit the power of water.

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They inserted wooden wedges into the holes, ensuring a snug fit. Over the years, as the water continued to saturate the wooden wedges and expand, the cracks deepened, and the granite yielded to the force of nature.


Igniting Curiosity

Standing before the Aswan Obelisk, you can not but think of its unfinished state. Why was it left in this state? What secrets lie beneath its rough surfaces? Well, the power of exploration lies in the quest for answers, they say.

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With every step you take on the obelisk, you discover the stories and untold narratives surrounding the Aswan Obelisk. You may even picture the skilled artisans working tirelessly with their chisels, carving patterns into the granite.


Forging the History

Exploring further, your curious mind leads you to think of the impact of external forces on the obelisk’s journey through the years. How did nature and rather shape its surfaces? How have human interventions and repair efforts helped preserve its meaning?

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The obelisk invites people to imagine the ancient world and the interesting beliefs, rituals, and customs of those who once held in awe this headstone. The quest of the obelisk outshines time, bridging the gap between past and present.


Imperfections and the Beauty Within

While looking at the majestic but incomplete obelisk, we want you to think about the marks of their efforts, the countless chisel strikes, and abandoned endeavors.

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Like the artisans, we can find solace and motivation in the marks of the past, as they remind us that success is often born out of strength and the willingness to learn from mistakes.


3,500 Years Later

After many years, the Unfinished Aswan Obelisk continues to inspire marvels in the modern day. Standing as proof of the legacy of ancient craftsmanship, the masterpiece reminds us of the achievement of our ancestors.

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So, as you keep admiring its huge presence and intricate details, prepare to be transported back in time, connecting with the rich human history.