Cleopatra's Needles


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Cleopatra's Needles,

name in popular use for two obelisks of red granite from Egypt. Originally erected at Heliopolis (c.1475 B.C.) by Thutmose III, they were transported to Alexandria (c.14 B.C.) under Augustus and in the 19th cent. were sent separately as gifts of Ismail Pasha to England (1878) and the United States (1880). The British obeliskobelisk
, slender four-sided tapering monument, usually hewn of a single great piece of stone, terminating in a pointed or pyramidal top. Among the ancient Egyptians these monoliths were commonly of red granite from Syene and were dedicated to the sun god.
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, 68.5 ft (20.9 m) high, stands on the Thames embankment in London. The American one, 69.5 ft (21.2 m) high, is in Central Park in New York City.