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Obelisk Facts

By Egyking
Ancient Egyptian Obelisk Facts
Late in the 19th Century, the Government of  Egypt divided a pair of Obelisks between the  United States of America and Great Britain. One sands in Central Park, New York City, the  other on the Thames Embankment in London. Although they are commonly known as  Cleopatra's Needles. The have no historical connection with the Egyptian Queen. 
Ancient Egyptian obelisk Facts
 These Obelisks were erected and dedicated at Heliopolis by Thutmose III about 1500 B.C. and  bear inscriptions to him and to Ramses ll. The inscriptions to Ramses II must have been added  later as his dynasty was circa 1304-1237 B.C. They were carved from the typical Red Granite  round in the Aswan Quarries. and stand 21.2 metres ,( 69ft 6 ins) high, have a rectangular base  that is 2.36 metres ( 7 ft 9 ins) by 2.34 metres ( 7ft 8 ins ). Each weighs 180 tons. They were  later moved and re-erected in the ancient city of AIexandria till 22 B. C.   Obelisks are known to have been erected as early as the 4th Egyptian Dynasty, 2613- 2~9~  B.C. however no examples from that era have survived.
The earliest surviving examples date  from the 12th Dynasty 1991 -1786 B.C. and stand outside the Temple of Amen at Karnak. One  pair erected by. Thutmose III 1225- 1212 B.C.). is 24 metres ( 80 ft ) high (and 1.8 metres 6 ft )  square at the base. and weigh 143 tons each.   During the time of the Roman Emperors, many Obelisks were transported from Egypt to what is  now Italy. at least a dozen went to the City of Rome itself, including one now in the Piazza San  Giovanni in Lateratno, that was originally erected by Thutmose III, who reigned from 1504- 1~50  B.C. at Karnak. With a height of32 metres (105 feet) and a square base with sides of2. 7 metres  (9 ft ), and tapering. To a square top with sides of 1.88 meters(6 ft 2 ins ). It weighs  approximately 230 tons and is the largest existing Ancient Obelisk.
   All of these Ancient Obelisks were cut from a single shaft of stone usual1y Red Granite from the  Quarries at Aswam. they are an historic tribute to the great technical and mechanical genius of  the Ancient Egyptians. in not only preparing the stones from the quarries. but also in  transporting them in .one piece and in setting them up on their proper bases. The sides were  inscribed with hieroglyphs usually indicating a Religious and Commemorative purpose.  Of interest to us as Freemasons is the fact that in the base of the "Cleopatra's Needles"  Obelisks, were discovered. cemented within their bases, a trowel, a lead plummet, a pure white  stone. a rectangular stone rough on its upper and lower surfaces, and a recessed stone clearly  showing the oblong square.
Remember that these were transported from Egypt late in the 19th  Century to England and the USA otherwise these symbols may have remained hidden from us.  The explanation of the First Tracing Board commences with the statement, "The usuages and  Customs among Freemasons have ever borne a near Affinity to those of the Ancient  Egyptians". There is today absolutely no doubt that the ancient Egyptians were Monotheists hada Ritual for Initiation and higher degrees or learning. They possessed what is termed "The Great  Wisdom", which was a complete Philosophy based on absolute knowledge of Nature and of  Man.
 It was demonstrated step by step by a science equally exact, embodied in Religion  Symbol and Allegory. Over time, this great knowledge became clouded, then degraded, and  finally lost to the World through ambition, pride, treachery and bigotry or men, so that it no  longer exists today in an Orderly Form. But the Ancient Knowledge based on SYMBOLISM  does remain. and has never been lost, though there are many who still deny that it ever existed.  This is one of the Great Ancient Treasures of Wisdom, which we as Freemasons are privileged,  in varying degrees, to be instructed in. and to which we sometimes hear referred to irreverently  by the ignorant, the bigoted and the uninitiated. 

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