Understanding the news: Largest known example of an obelisk fragment from the Old Kingdom

Understanding the news: Largest known example of an obelisk fragment from the Old Kingdom
An Old Kingdom obelisk fragment discovered this week at Saqqara by a Swiss-French archaeological mission, directed by Professor Philippe Collombert from the University of Geneva, is part of the largest known example from that early period of Egypt's history.
By examining the top part of the obelisk which is approximately 2.5m, archaeologists have estimated that the full size of the obelisk may have been around 5m. While this is small in comparison to later New Kingdom examples which could be up to around 30m tall, this is the largest known example from the much earlier Old Kingdom, when the ancient Egyptians were taking their first steps into monumental construction using stone.
Another feature of interest is that an inscription suggests that this obelisk may have belonged to Queen Ankhnespepy II, wife of Pepy I, and mother of King Pepy II, (6th Dynasty, ca 2350 BCE).
“Queens of the 6th dynasty usually had two small obelisks at the entrance to their funerary temple, but this obelisk was found a little far from the entrance of the complex of Ankhnespepy II,” Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said. The fragment may have been moved by later quarrymen or stone cutters who often recycled the monuments of earlier periods to build new ones.
The Obelisk (tḫn) is a well known architectural structure from ancient Egypt and are usually made from a single piece of stone. The ancient Egyptian word Tekhen means 'to pierce' (the sky) and are associated with the cult of the supreme solar deity Ra. The top or 'pyramidion' of the obelisk was often encased in gold or electrum, thereby making it shine brightly in the sunlight.
Further reading: https://www.ancient.eu/Egyptian_Obelisk/


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