Whats with Egyptians and erected structures. Every now and then they come up with an idea to BUILD an ERECT structure as a tower or monument.
Since the days of the pharaohs, obelisks were prominent in the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, who placed them in pairs at the entrance of temples. The word “obelisk” as used in English today is of Greek rather than Egyptian origin because Herodotus, the Greek traveler, was one of the first classical writers to describe the objects.
A number of ancient Egyptian obelisks are known to have survived, plus the “Unfinished Obelisk” found partly hewn from its quarry at Aswan. These obelisks are now dispersed around the world, and fewer than half of them remain in Egypt.
The earliest temple obelisk still in its original position is the 21 meters and 120-tons of red granite Obelisk of Senusret I of the XIIth Dynasty at Al-Matariyyah part of Heliopolis.
Many Egyptian obelisks are still erected around the World. Almost every capital hosts an obelisk including London, Washington D.C. and Paris! Egyptians did leave their mark round the globe.
Although most were taken during the English and French invasion of Egypt in 1700s and 1800s.
Then during the Ptolemaic dynasty, came construction of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Pharos. The lighthouse was constructed in the 3rd century BC. After Alexander the Great died of a fever at age 32, the first Ptolemy (Ptolemy I Soter) announced himself king in 305 BC, and commissioned its construction shortly thereafter. The building was finished during the reign of his son, the second Ptolemy (Ptolemy II Philadelphus).
It took twelve years to complete, at a total cost of 800 talents, and served as a prototype for all later lighthouses in the world. The light was produced by a furnace at the top and the tower was said to have been built mostly with solid blocks of limestone. Strabo reported that Sostratus had a dedication inscribed in metal letters to the “Saviour Gods”. Later Pliny the Elder wrote that Sostratus was the architect, which is disputed. In the second century AD the satirist Lucian wrote that Sostratus inscribed his name under plaster bearing the name of Ptolemy. This was so that when the plaster with Ptolemy’s name fell off, Sostratus’s name would be visible in the stone.
The lighthouse was badly damaged in the earthquake of 956, and then again in 1303 and 1323. Finally the stubby remnant disappeared in 1480, when the then-Sultan of Egypt, Qaitbay, built a medieval fort on the larger platform of the lighthouse site using some of the fallen stone.
It has come up in today’s news that plans to rebuild the Pharos are underway! We are not sure if Egypt has a surplus of money or because we lack enough monuments, but why build another monument not fix the old authentic ones? No one really knows!
This obsession with erections continued through modern history. With the construction of the Cairo tower. Built from 1954 to 1961,the tower was designed by the Egyptian architect Naoum Shebib. Its partially open lattice-work design is intended to evoke a pharaonic lotus plant, an iconic symbol of Ancient Egypt. The tower is crowned by a circular observation deck and a rotating restaurant with a view over greater Cairo. Again, an erected phallus in the midst of the capital.
Then some genius thought of a solution for the protestors at Tahrir square. The government built a memorial after the uprising but it was taken down by angry protestors. They had to come up with something that stands against the energetic protestors and that is, wait for it, an ERECT Flag!