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Obelisk with Inscriptions on all Four Sides

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Egyptian obelisks were erected in front of temples and tombs and were usually dedicated to Re-Horakhty or another manifestation of the sun god. The pyramid-like top was both a solar symbol and a representation of the primeval hill on which the creator-god first stood; the obelisk as a whole thus formed a point of contact between earth and heaven. This obelisk is dedicated to the sacred bull of the town of Horbeit, who embodied the destructive power of Horus against his enemies and those of his father, Osiris.
MEDIUM Granite
  • Possible Place Made: Horbeit (Pharbaethos), Egypt
  • DATES ca. 360–342 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 30
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 25 x 7 5/16 x 7 5/16 in. (63.5 x 18.5 x 18.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, reportedly from Giza, Egypt or Pharbaethos (Horbeit), Northern Delta, Egypt; by 1936, acquired by Louis Herse of Alexandria, Egypt; 1936, purchased from Louis Herse by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CAPTION Obelisk with Inscriptions on all Four Sides, ca. 360–342 B.C.E. Granite, 25 x 7 5/16 x 7 5/16 in. (63.5 x 18.5 x 18.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.614. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.36.614_wwgA-2.jpg)
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery A-2 installation, CUR.36.614_wwgA-2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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