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List and number of obelisks[edit]

Can anyone verify the numbers given for quantities of obelisks in different countries? Everywhere i check I seem to get a different set of numbers. Notably [1], and [2] Pdefer | !! 03:43, 2004 Nov 25 (UTC)

When I re-wrote this article I carefully verified the figures listed against the most reliable sources. There is a lot of confusion and even trusty looking sources count some things twice. Also there is a question over inclusion of Axumite obelisks (Hence my separating these). Most confusion is over 'egyptian' obelisks which may be Roman copies. I think we will have to wait until next year when a new book is published which may answer these problems: Susan Sorek The Emperor's Needles: Obelisks in Rome (Bristol Phoenix Press 2005) ISBN 1904675301. --mervyn 09:03, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The numbers of Egyptian obelisks don't add up now. This page says 28, but lists 27 (8+1+1+12+1+3+1). The one in Arles was moved to its own section as a Roman copy - this may be reason for the error. However, the lists also says 12 Egyptian obelisiks in Rome, and mentions five known Roman copies but obelisks in Rome says there are 11, two of which are Roman copies, and does not mention five other copies at all.
The articles should at least be self-consistent and consistent with each other, even if attribution is a matter of debate. Can anyone help? -- ALoan (Talk) 13:14, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I’ve just corrected the list total, to agree with the text.It looks as if everything else was fixed a long time ago.The list now gives 27 Egyptian obelisks, with 12 in Italy, of which 8 are in Rome; this also agrees with the page "obelisks in Rome", which has 8 (plus 5 roman and 4 modern copies, and 1 from Axum ). Swanny18 15:48, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Looks like Italy subtotal is still wrong: 8 in Rome plus the three others listed = 11. So grand total is 26 (8+1+1+11+1+3+1). Is that right? --mervyn 16:40, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
With the addition of the Nectanebo II in the British Museum it now totals 27: (8 + 1 + 1 + 11 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 27). --mervyn 12:24, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
You're right, only 11 in Italy; and now another in Britain to make up the 27. Nice work! Swanny18 14:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)


I am sorry, but I cannot figure out how to post a message, so I shall resort to using that of others. I would simply like to bring to the attention of people that in the obelisk article, the two pictures are the same, yet they are labeled as different. Thank you.


For the Urbino obelisk, see Roberto Piperno's page, toward the bottom, and Carlitos Lunghi's page. Further details are given on my own site, (Platner, Obelisci Isei Campensis): notice that the Urbino obelisk is a reconstruction concocted from two authentic Egyptian obelisks. Bill 11:28, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

War memorials[edit]

Many war memorials in Britain are obelisk shaped, though most are not so tall that one would include them in a list of modern obelisks. The one in Southport, Lancashire that I just added to the list is particularly tall and impressive. It is the central focus of Lord Street, and is of an unusually grand scale for a provincial town. I took some photos of it today. DFH 21:31, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Knoxville, Tennessee[edit]

I removed the editorial comment, "You can do the research or cover this up too." which is not appropriate to include in the main article. I have retained the word "allegedly", but this still needs a source citing. DFH 21:45, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

"Do a search for it on the web or go take a picture of it yourself it is there (or was) Just like the Georgia Guidestones folks want to ignor. Why does this entry need citations but others do not? The mayor that put it up was an alumni of Yale, ask him if he doesnt say it is "too secret to talk about"?Qbert203 04:59, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I don’t understand the question here.Is the issue why a citation is needed? Or is there a query whether there is an obelisk in Knoxville at all? Or if it was put up by Mayor Ashe? Or if it commemorated the events of 11 Sept? Does anyone know the answer? Swanny18 15:58, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Tallest obelisk?[edit]

Many sources still cite the Washington Monument as the world's tallest obelisk. The San Jacinto Monument stands in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest monument column in the world, and it is 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument. I suppose that there may be some arguments as to what truly classes as an obelisk. The top of the San Jacinto is somewhat more ornate than a simple pyramid. DFH 18:58, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

The definition at the top of the article page would exclude the San Jacinto monument, as it is octagonal, and has a star on top. It would more properly be a stele, I think. Swanny18 16:02, 31 July 2007 (UTC)


It would be nice to see some information about the construction of obelisks (especially ancient Egyptian ones, but not only those). A good source is Nova's video about Egyptian obelisks. I could write a paragraph or two about that, if that would be appreciated.
Qbert203 04:59, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, good idea. Give it a try! Swanny18 16:04, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Band entry[edit]

This entry keeps coming and going; its been moved,deleted and replaced a number of times :-

"Obelisk is a progressive and melodic death metal band with female operatic elements from ballard washington.
band started in 1999 with Ryan Nairn on lead vocals and lead guitar.".

Should it be kept? (It's currently deleted, I think)And if so, where? Opinions? Swanny18 16:31, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

List of notable modern obelisks[edit]

This list is in danger of getting out of hand: There are thousands of obelisks in Britain alone (every other graveyard or war memorial will have one); do we really want to list them all here?
How about a separate page for such a list, for the ones here now, and any new ones, and some guidelines on what to include on this page (tallest, or oldest, from each country, maybe?). Swanny18 (talk) 17:11, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, I’ve put a note on the list in the page to say it’s in date order, as it really wasn’t clear at first; I was in the process of re-arrangeing them all before I realized. Swanny18 (talk) 17:12, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

No we don't want to list them all, hence notable - basically historically significant and-or large ones! I think the list is manageable at current size without splitting, but could be tidied. --mervyn (talk) 09:00, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

A Big 'why'[edit]

An explanation why an Egyptian symbol of sun worship has become so popular in the west would be interesting - particularly since sun worship is inherently pagan, and yet several of these things were erected in post-pagan Rome. Apparently there are some connections to freemasonry, particularly the Washington monument which was quite openly laid by freemasons. If someone could answer these questions and add some info it would be great. . —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 00.07, 20 January 2008 .

My challenge to the article is that the Victory Monument in Bangkok is surely a notable example of a 20th Century obelisk. Also, the write up (in Wi121.120.190.38 (talk)kipedia) about this monument might have been designed to emphasise the virility of the facist Thai dictator of the time - because obelisks resemble erect penises. This "meaning" of obelisks might explain some erected in modern time by other authoritarian regimes. RW (talk) 15:20, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

So far as sun worship, you will note that obelisks function perfectly well as gnomons of sundials. An obelisk therefore shows "where the Sun is pointing" at any given moment. With simple tables, shadows of that size will also show the degree of the astrological ascendant at any given moment on any given day. It therefore becomes of interest to note features on the ground around obelisks. Scratch the surface and Christ is a Sun-God and Mary is his lunar companion. (She is, in fact, often shown standing on a crescent.) Dave of Maryland (talk) 21:30, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Arabic in Lead[edit]

Why is the Arabic term for obelisk given in the lead? Seems strange to me. The only connection I can come up with is the fact that there are obelisks in Egypt, where they now speak Arabic... (talk) 03:46, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

(deleted nonsense added here by from 5 March 2009. Swanny18 (talk) 00:29, 6 July 2009 (UTC))

Lead image[edit]

The lead image of this article seems to have changed since I was here last, with no discussion that I can see. The Wellington obelisk in Dublin is neither the largest, nor the oldest, nor the most attractive obelisk in the world; why is it in the lead now? Previously it was one of the Egyptian ones, which made far more sense. Is there any objection to changing it back? Swanny18 (talk) 13:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

OK,I’ve put back the Luxor image.
It was lead image from 2003 to 2008 and got lost in some edit scuffling in May 2008. I suggest it is more suitable than the Phoenix Park image.
The original image was the “Cleopatra”, from 2002-2003, if anyone thinks that should have precedence. Swanny18 (talk) 17:30, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Fine by me. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 16:33, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

No other replies; we'll stick with Luxor, then.. Swanny18 (talk) 12:08, 29 July 2009 (UTC)


I personally think that the photos in the article are a bit old. (talk) 02:16, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Caesarea obelisk[edit]

this obelisk is probably Roman and not egyptian. any objection to relocating it's listing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

"Probably" isn't really good enough; there's nothing at the Caesarea obelisk page about this, and the source there (ie this) says it is egyptian in origin, so yes, there is quite a big objection to changing its listing (unless you have a source that says otherwise...) Swanny18 (talk) 17:13, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Obelisk-erection experiment[edit]

This section is too long in relation to the rest of the article - UNDUE WEIGHT, per Wiki MOS. It can be shortened to get to the conclusion of the method.Parkwells (talk) 19:59, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


What exactly do obelisks symbolize? I heard that they're symbols for the phallus. Please someone tell me if this is correct? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Different obelisks will have been erected for different purposes. Yes, some people today see them as phallic symbols, but you'll need reliable academic sources - archaeologists - to say that they were built as phallic symbols. As symbols of power, almost certainly. Different cultures may have built them with different ideas in mind. Dougweller (talk) 17:43, 10 May 2011 (UTC)


Is the Angel de la Independencia in Mexico truly an obelisk? If it is, it will be the first time I've heard it referred to as such...and I've traveled to Mexico a couple of times. Further, just looking at the's a simple monument, like dozens all over Latin America, doesn't resemble an obelisk at all. (talk) 17:32, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

No is not, it looks like a column monument, so I removed the image. Thanks for pointing that out. --Elekhh (talk) 01:35, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Number of ancient Egyptian obelisks standing in Rome and standing in Egypt[edit]

In section 1.1, Ancient obelisks, Egyptian, is the following two-sentence paragraph: "The Ancient Romans were strongly influenced by the obelisk form, to the extent that there are now more than twice as many obelisks standing in Rome as remain in Egypt. All fell after the Roman period except for the Vatican obelisk and were re-erected in different locations".

Because of the way the first sentence is worded (" remain in Egypt...") and because it is in section 1.1, it leaves the impression that there are more than twice as many ancient Egyptian obelisks standing in Rome as remain in Egypt, itself. (I assume that the contrast is meant to be with those that are standing in Egypt, itself.)

That is not true, as the list at the end of this same section attests. The paragraph should be rewritten, preferably by its author, so that it accurately says whatever it was intended to say. (There appear to be, in fact, exactly eight standing ancient Egyptian obelisks in Rome and also eight [not nine, see below] standing in Egypt.)

At the end of this same section are listed nine ancient Egyptian obelisks standing in Egypt, itself. The last of these (Senusret I, Faiyum) is, I believe, nonexistent. According to the Wikipedia article about him, Senusret I erected only two obelisks, both near the temple at Re-Atum in Heliopolis, only one of which is standing. There is not even a mention of Faiyum in the article about him.[1]

In contrast, the Wikipedia article about Senusret II says that he "...took a great deal of interest in the Faiyum oasis region..."; but this article does not mention the word obelisk.[2]

Finally, the word obelisk is also not mentioned in the Wikipedia article about Faiyum.[3] Nor could I find any reference to an obelisk on either of two commercial websites concerned with Fayoum (the spelling both use).[4][5]

Therefore, since it would appear that no obelisk was ever built at Faiyum (or Fayoum, an alternate spelling) by a pharaoh named Senusret or by anyone else, the number of ancient Egyptian obelisks that are standing in Egypt would be eight, not nine, which is exactly equal to the number of ancient Egyptian obelisks standing in Rome.[6]

Based upon the above, I will remove from the list of ancient Egyptian obelisks standing in Egypt the one said to have been erected by Senusret I and to be located at Faiyum, and I will change the number listed for Egypt from nine to eight.

This reduction from nine to eight also has the consequent salutary effect of reducing the total in this list from 29 to 28, which is one of the numbers listed above on this Talk page, although no actual total is given in the article itself, the only numbers given in the article being the totals for each country individually. Wikifan2744 (talk) 06:15, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

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