Eretto tremilacinquecento anni fa, è uno dei due costruiti durante il regno della regina Hatshepsut. L’altro crollò secoli fa, durante un terremoto e tutt’ora giace ai piedi del suo simile.
Ogni obelisco persa più di trecentoventi tonnellate e per lungo tempo, gli archeologi si sono scervellati per capire come venissero eretti in posizione verticale.
Ai tempi di Hatshepsut, ancora non si conosceva la ruota dentata, il paranco o l’argano.
Eppure gli egizi riuscirono in un’impresa ardua anche al giorno d’oggi. Sollevare un pesante blocco di granito e metterlo in posizione verticale.
Gli stessi egizi hanno lasciato testimonianze poco chiare.
Sappiamo che questi obelischi venivano ricavati da una cava situata ad Assuan e trasportati lungo il Nilo su un’enorme chiatta trainata da ventisette imbarcazioni più piccole.
Operazione molto pericolosa, infatti un’impresa condotta per conto di Ramses IV, nel XII secolo a.C., costò la vita a ottocento uomini.
Si possono solo fare delle ipotesi su come gli obelischi raggiunsero la posizione finale. Sono state formulate due teorie, una dall’archeologo inglese Reginald Engelbach, l’altra dal francese Henry Chevrier.
Entrambi partono dal presupposto che venisse preparato un cumulo di sabbia, che serviva da scivolo verso il basso per l’obelisco, il quale, scendendo con un’inclinazione di 34°, veniva calato in un pozzetto ad imbuto.
A questo punto, secondo Chevrier, veniva issato in posizione verticale con delle funi. Engelbach ritiene invece che gli operai egizi ricorressero a un qualche sistema di leve.
Tutte e due le teorie sono plausibili, forse quella di Chevrier è la più attendibile, perchè nasce da un’esperienza pratica.
Chevrier dedicò due campagne archeologiche allo smantellamento e poi alla ricostruzione di un monumento alto diciotto metri che risaliva al VII secolo a.C.
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