Cleopatra's Needle: A History of the London Obelisk, With an Exposition of the Hieroglyphics
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The London Obelisk, as the monument standing on the Thames Embankment is now called, is by far the largest quarried stone in England; and the mysterious-looking characters covering its four faces were carved by workmen who were contemporaries of Moses and the Israelites during the time of the Egyptian Bondage. It was set up before the great temple of the sun at Heliopolis about 1450 B.C., by Thothmes III., who also caused to be carved the central columns of hieroglyphs on its four sides. The eight lateral columns were carved by Rameses II. two centuries afterwards. These two monarchs were the two mightiest of the kings of ancient Egypt.
In 1877 the author passed through the land of Egypt, and became much interested during the progress of the journey in the study of the hieroglyphs covering tombs, temples, and obelisks. He was assisted in the pursuit of Egyptology by examining the excellent collections of Egyptian antiquities in the Boolak Museum at Cairo, the Louvre at Paris, and the British Museum. He feels much indebted to Dr. Samuel Birch, the leading English Egyptologist, for his kind assistance in rendering some obscure passages on the Obelisk.