Obelisks


Much of Laurel Hill Cemetery is a veritable pincushion of obelisks. To break up the monotony, some of the obelisks are draped while others have been cut off and sprout urns and statues. Further adding to the vertical competition at Laurel Hill is a host of columns with a variety of objects perched on their lofty spires.

Obelisks, which are representative of a ray of sunlight, were first seen in Egypt during the time of the Old Kingdom. The earliest excavation of an obelisk, dated at the 25th century BC is at Abu Ghurob. It was a massive, fairly squat, pyramidal structure set upon a high plinth and was the focal point of the sun temple. During the time of the Middle Kingdom, obelisks made of single slabs of Aswan granite became much taller and slimmer. They were typically erected in pairs in front of selected temples as part of a celebration of a Royal Jubilee. The sides of the obelisk were often inscribed and the pyramidal top was sheathed in gold to radiate the light of the sun.
Text and photo © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”Laurel Hill Cemetery” street=”3822 Ridge Avenue” city=”Philadelphia” state=”Pennsylvania” zip=”19132″]

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