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An Ancient Egyptian IQ Test




If it was an Obelisk it would be upstanding, not lying down in the ditch, un-finished like an unfinished symphony.


The Egyptians, being very high on the IQ scale, abandoned it and left it where it now lies, for thousands of years.


The reasons they gave up on the completion of this major public project are quite clear... it has a flaw which they only discovered by the time they had done this much work.

They realised that it was not going to work as an obelisk.


What is the work of an obelisk?


First it must be capable of being lifted out of its trench and moved to the site where you wish to stand it up.

Then it must be capable of being stood up without breaking in the process.


Finally it just has to stand to attention like a good soldier for thousands of years, despite heat, cold, water, wind, and stray ballistics from soldiers who aren’t even born when it is erected, nor the weapons they carry which have not yet been invented.


It must stand in the Egyptian sun for thousands of years to form a tourist attraction in our time. It must avoid being stolen by foreign invaders who might carry it home as a trophy to some distant country. Finally it must be be protected from the ravages of graffiti artists.


The Ancient Egyptians, who were pretty smart chappies, saw that it could not do the work which was required of it, so they decided to leave it where it lay, as an intelligence test for the people of the future.


On the net there are many photographs of this incomplete obelisk available under the heading "unfinished obelisk".


These photographs all raise many big questions and to my way of thinking they have not been properly answered by any of the texts I have sourced.


The main questions, in order, are as follows:-


Concerning the quarrying... given that they were using dolomite hammers, and copper chisels which are quite soft, and given that they were working in an incredibly confined space which is the narrow trench you can see in the photograph, how did they propose to cut underneath this massive stone to release it from the rock-bed?


After undercutting the stone, which they would have to keep elevated a few inches to allow rope feeds, how did they expect to be able to raise it from its narrow trench in order to make the next move in transit? As it weighed almost 1200 tons, considerably more than the stones moved into place on the pyramids, which were usually only 2.5 tons, and given the limited equipment for heavy lifting which was available to them, this step would have been a tremendously difficult task.


OKAY! So finally, by some great miracle or otherwise mysterious process, they have elevated this "potential" Obelisk from its rock trench, and now it’s ready to be moved.

Considering that it is much bigger than any of the smaller obelisks they have excavated so far, and much much larger than the blocks used to build the pyramids, what sort of sled do they move it on, or is it just a basic log-roller system? Or do they float it in a massive canal, and if so, how do they achieve this feat?


Now they have gotten it down to the shore of the river Nile to mount on a barge. This must be one hell of a barge for its time. They have to be able to lift it onto the barge, or slide it on, without toppling the barge. How did they manage to do that? It’s possible that this can only be achieved at certain times of the year, when the Nile is very low, and then they must wait until the next flood to lift the barge off the river's muddy floor.


Once it is safely on board the barge, and they’ve avoided tipping the barge in the process, transporting it to the nearest drop-off point would be the easiest part of the journey. Getting it off the barge would probably be as difficult as getting it on. How did they do this, or was the process simply the opposite of loading the barge?


Then they had to move it to its new home, somewhere inland. Again the work of the rolling team or the sled team.... or the canal team. Anyhow, this will be one of the largest team enterprises they had ever attempted in the block-moving or Obelisk-moving department. Why do I say this? Because this particular incomplete obelisk, if it had been finished, would have been approximately 50% heavier than any previous one.


Once they reached the designated site they would have had its gradual elevation planned, similar to the manner of previous Obelisks. Some have proposed a rather simple idea of using an earth mound, sloped to a certain pitch, to slide the base of the Obelisk into its position, and then to stand it up with the help of a few strong chaps and ropes. Maybe they had pulleys, block and tackle, but they didn’t have the cranes capable of heavy lifting which we have had for more than one hundred years.


Finally, 20,000 men to tamp the soil down around the standing Obelisk and invite the Pharaoh and his priests out for a look-see.


Why go to all this trouble, in any case?


It’s no wonder we need the imagination of an Erik von Daniken and his suggestion of the involvement of extra-terrestrials to solve this simple IQ test which the Egyptians were kind enough to leave for us to ponder in our time.


If there is anyone out there who has some really good answers to the many questions I’ve raised, it would be a great kindness if you could let me in on the secret. I have spent many fruitless years trying to solve this riddle, and it’s driving me crazy. It has even made me start to doubt my own native intelligence.



MONDAY, JULY 14, 2008



Some Links which may be helpful:-

How an Ancient Egyptian Obelisk Ended Up in NYC

Ancient Ships: The Ships of Antiquity

Manners and customs of the ancient Egyptians

How the ancient obelisk nearly sank to the bottom of the ocean


How obelisks got where they are now

The Obelisk of Ancient Egypt: Ancient Egyptians Architecture

Feedback to this essay from readers would be much appreciated: email Peter.