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Image resource: Photograph of Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair, by UCLA
Image resource: Photograph of Obelisks of Wadjet Hall, by UCLA

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Model renderings: 8
Photographs: 20
Archival images: 0
Videos: 0
Object catalog: 0

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Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair

Originally built by Thutmose I - 1504 BCE to 1492 BCE (Show in timemap)

Other works initiated by Thutmose I:
5th Pylon and Court, 4th Pylon and Enclosure, Wadjet Hall

Other obelisks:
Obelisk Unique, Obelisks at Contra Temple, Obelisks at Eastern Gate, Obelisks of Festival Hall Center Pair, Obelisks of Festival Hall West Pair, Obelisks of 7th Pylon, Obelisks of Wadjet Hall

Introduction

The obelisks of Thutmose I were the first pair of obelisks erected at Karnak. They once stood to the west of pylon IV. The northern obelisk base still exists, but the monument itself fell sometime after the 18th century. The southern obelisk still adorns the skyline at Karnak today.

Measurements: The southern obelisk stands 19.5m high. The northern one would have reached a similar height.

Phase: Thutmose I

Thutmose I erected his obelisks in front of the main western gate to the temple precinct of the time. According to their inscriptions, the pyramidions capping the obelisks were originally encased in electrum, no doubt splendidly reflecting the rays of the sun. The central lines of text running vertically down each side of the preserved obelisk states that Thutmose I "made it as a monument for his father Amun-Ra." The obelisks are thought to ensure the presence of the god within in the temple.

During the reign of Ramesses IV, columns of inscriptions were added to either side of the original Thutmoside inscriptions. Ramesses IV's cartouche was later inscribed over by Ramesses VI. These inscriptions employed standard phrases for glorifying the king.

Construction materials: rose granite

About the reconstruction model of this phase

Image resource: Rendering of Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair, by UCLA
Image resource: Rendering of Obelisks of Festival Hall East Pair, by UCLA

The obelisks were reconstructed based on the plan and axial drawings of Gabolde (1993: pl. III-VII).

Photographs of the southern obelisk were used to recreate its appearance in the model. The northern obelisk, now fallen, was given a generic rose granite pattern to match the southern obelisk.

Bibliography and Sources Used for Model Construction

Gabolde, Luc (1993), “La "cour de fêtes" de Thoutmosis II à Karnak.” Cahiers de Karnak, vol. IX, 1-100.

Further reading

Habachi, Labib and Charles Van Siclen (1977), The obelisks of Egypt: skyscrapers of the past. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.