Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ethiopia's aksum Obelisks

Much has been written about Axum’s famous monolithic obelisks, or stelae, cut out of the hardest granite, some no more than rudely fashioned stones little larger than a human being, but others massive and beautifully carved monuments which once towered into the sky. The finest represent multis toreyed houses, with a ground-floor door, complete with a door handle, and windows on each ‘floor’.

In its heyday Axum had three main obelisks. The largest, now fallen and broken into several pieces, is the biggest block of stone ever worked on by humanity anywhere in the world. It was a remarkably impressive piece of workmanship, representing a palace of no less than 72 storeys. Many Ethiopians long for the day when it will be erected again on its original site.
The second obelisk is some 10 metres shorter, and stands a little away from the great fallen monolith. It was described early in the i9th century by the British traveller Henry Salt as the most admirable and perfect monument of its kind.
Exactly between these two obelisks stood a third monolith, slightly larger than the second, and better carved. This Obelisk collapsed and broke into three large pieces. This was taken to Rome, orders given by the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and erected in 1937 in front of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Nineteenth April 2005, saw the return of this famous Obelisk back to Axum.

Source :Selamta

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