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Archaeologists in Egypt uncover 'largest ever' obelisk fragment Open in fullscreen

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Archaeologists in Egypt uncover 'largest ever' obelisk fragment

The obelisk dates back around 4,300 years [Egypt Ministry of Antiquities]

Date of publication: 7 October, 2017

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A joint Swiss-French team has recovered a fragment of an obelisk believed to have once stood at 16 feet tall.

Archaeologists in Egypt have recovered the tip of an obelisk thought to be one of the largest fragments from an ancient stone monument ever to be discovered.

The Swiss-French team, headed by professor Phillippe Collombert, recovered the monument head from the Saqqara necropolis, which served as the burial ground for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.

The monument is believed to be over 4,300 years old, dating to the reign of Queen Ankhnespepy II in the Old Kingdom.

The names and titles of the ancient monarch are inscribed on the pink granite stone.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities says the recovered tip is around eight feet in length. According to Collumbert, the full scale of the monument was likely around 16 feet in height.

In its original position, the obelisk's tip would have been capped in gold or copper to brightly reflect the sun's rays.

This was indicated by indentations on the top of the obelisk, where the reflective metal would have been.

Archaeologists believe that the obelisk was moved from its original place. Its stone is also thought to have been used to build other constructions during the New Kingdom era.

Ankhnespepy II was one of the most prominent queens of Egypt's sixth dynasty.

When her husband Pepy I died, Anknespepy married his son, Merenre and, with whom she had Pepy II.

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