Museum of the Origins of Man
THE POST-PALEOLITHIC SCULPTURE OF ABSTRACT AND GEOMETRIC OBELISKS
Fig. 20A1) Monolithic abstract post-paleolithic obelisk.
This gigantic monolith, defined by some as an "obelisk", was found broken into four pieces, evidence that it was erected.
Probably it had a use in the worship rituals, like the obelisks of the following ages, published here on Figg. 20A2, 20A3, 20A4, 20A5.
The menhirs are most numerous in France, which counts more than 6000 of them: among these, there are 4750 in Brittany, 3450 of them in the department of Morbihan. Their origin goes back to the Mousterian, crossing different fashions and religions, until the historical times. These colossuses, or at least many of them, remained in the "pagan" cult in several European localities until the complete Christianization of Europe, that is, until about 300 years ago.
Size: height 20 m, and weight over 300,000 kg.
Dating: between Neolithic and the Metals Age.
Location: Locmariaquer, Morbihan, Brittany, France.
Photo by Licia Filingeri, 1976.
Fig. 20A2) Post-paleolithic monolithic abstract obelisk.
(The historical obelisks are all geometric; for mostly Egyptians, are not many. Almost all of them have been transported to Europe).
This obelisk is without hieroglyphics.
Material: red granite.
Dating: 4000 years approx.
Size: height 25,5 m, to which must be added the base with the coat of arms of Pope Sixtus V of 1.5 m. Weight: 330 tons.
Origin: Heliopolis. It was brought to Rome by the Roman Emperor Caligula in 37 AD, and moved to St. Peter's Square in 1586.
Location: Vatican City, Italy.
Fig. 20A3) Post-paleolithic monolithic abstract obelisk.
Made of granite, with hieroglyphics related to Pharaoh Ramses II.
Size: height 22,83 m, to which the pedestal of 2,5 m must be added. Weight: 227.000 kg.
Origin: Luxor Temple, Egypt.
Dating: 1304-1237 BC.
Location: Paris, France. Brought to France in 1836.
Fig. 20A4) Post-paleolithic monolithic abstract obelisk (called "The needle of Cleopatra").
Material: pink granite.
Size: height mt 20,87; weight: 187.000 kg.
Origin: Heliopolis, Egypt. Brought to England in 1877.
Dating: 1504-1450 BC, Kingdom of Thutmosis III.
Location: London. Brought to England in 1877.
Fig. 20A5) Abstract post-paleolithic monolithic obelisk (Axum stele).
Size: height 23.40 m, weight 150 tons.
Origin: Axum Steles Field area (Ethiopia).
Cultural attribution: Ancient axumite civilization.
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