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The Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan

An unfinished obelisk rests in an ancient granite quarry of Aswan. The material from which it was partially carved, Aswan pink granite, was valued by the Egyptians for its durability. If the obelisk was completed, it would be over 41 meters high. Unfortunately, as a result of a flaw in the deposit that caused the fracture, the work was stopped. Three sides are finished, but the underside is still stuck to the bedrock.

Egyptians created buildings without modern machines and advanced technologies. They relied on simple solutions and the strength of their own hands. They used basic tools to forge large blocks of rock like obelisks. They were heavy spheres made of dolerite (very hard igneous rock). They rubbed the granite along the designated lines, creating depressions in the softer rock.