Archaeologists discover largest-ever Obelisk fragment from Ancient Egypt

Working at the Saqqara necropolis, archaeologists have discovered what is believed to be the largest ever obelisk fragment from ancient Egypt.

The Saqqara necropolis is a massive burial ground located to the south of the pyramids of Giza. There, experts have uncovered the upper part of an ancient obelisk that according to reports dates back more than 4,300 years.

Furthermore, archaeologists say that it is one of the largest fragments from an ancient stone monument ever found in Egypt.

The remains of the obelisks were discovered by a Swiss-French archaeological mission led by Professor Phillippe Collombert.

Excerpts uncovered the upper part of the structure which they believe was built sometime around 2,350 BC, in the Old Kingdom era during the reign of Ankhnespepy II—the mother of King Pepy II.

Waziri and Collombert on site inspecting the recently discovered Obelisk fragment. Image Credit: Ahram Online

“We can estimate that the full size of the obelisk was around five metres when it was intact,” he said.

According to Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in an interview to Ahram Online, the obelisk remains were found at the eastern parts of the queens pyramid and funerary complex, which means that the structure was removed from its original location sometime in the past.

“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,” Waziri pointed out, suggesting it may have been dragged away by stonecutters from a later period.

Researchers have spotted indentations on the top of the Obelisk which seem to suggest that it was covered in copper or gold making the sun reflect off its tip.

Experts are sure of the age of the obelisk because of the inscriptions it features mentioned the name and titles of Queen Ankhnespepy II.

Archaeologists and government authorities gather around the Obelisk. Image Credit: Ahram Online

According to historians, Ankhnespepy II was one of the most prominent queens of ancient Egypt’s sixth dynasty.

Researchers have been excavating the Saqqara necropolis for several decades.

For the last thirty years have archaeologists at the site been excavating the necropolis of the queens buried around the pyramid of Pepy I, who married queen Ankhnespepy II.

The Saqqara necropolis is home to numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastabas.

(H/T Ahram Online)

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