Egyptian Obelisk


An obelisk is a stone rectangular pillar with a tapered top forming a pyramidion, set on a base, erected to commemorate an individual or event and honor the gods. The ancient Egyptians created the form at some point in the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3150-c. 2613 BCE) following their work in mud brick mastaba tombs and prior to the construction of the Step Pyramid of Djoser (c. 2670 BCE). It is thought that the earliest obelisks served as a kind of training for working in stone on monumental projects which was a necessary step toward pyramid building.

More about: Egyptian Obelisk


  • c. 3150 BCE - c. 2613 BCE
    First Obelisks created in Egypt during the Early Dynastic Period.
  • c. 1570 BCE - c. 1069 BCE
    Obelisks become increasingly popular with pharaohs during the New Kingdom period in Egypt.
  • 1458 BCE - 1425 BCE
    Thutmose III initiates custom of making offerings to obelisks.
  • 1279 BCE - 1213 BCE
    Ramesses II becomes the most prolific builder of obelisks in Egypt.