According to Dictionary.com, an obelisk is a tapering, four-sided shaft of stone, usually monolithic and having a pyramidal apex. Yet, this simple structure has astonished and inspired people across this planet for eons.
Evidence that ancient obelisks have been erected across the world for thousands of years can still be found today. Even some primitive societies built obelisks, but the reason for their construction varies from culture to culture. These structures appear to have started in some of the earliest civilizations including the Assyrians, the Incas, and the Egyptians.
The ancient Egyptians used pairs of obelisks outside the entrances of their temples. The earliest temple obelisk still in its original position is the 68-foot, 120-metric-ton red granite Obelisk of Senusret I of the XIIth Dynasty. It can still be found in Cairo, and it was originally part of a pair of obelisks that Pharaoh Senusret I (circa 1942 B.C.) dedicated to Ra, the Egyptian sun god.
After the Romans made Egypt part of their empire, the conquerors were amazed at the huge obelisks they found. Consisting of a single stone, these monstrous slabs stood dozens of feet tall and weighed hundreds of tons. The Romans were so impressed, that they stole many of the obelisks and spread them throughout their empire. The most impressive of these ancient marvels is the Lateran Obelisk. It is the largest standing ancient Egyptian obelisk in the world, and it is also the tallest obelisk in Italy. When it was brought to Italy, it weighed 455 tons and stood 105.6 feet.
The Egyptian obelisks inspired Romans to build their own obelisks, and the construction of obelisks still continues across the globe today. Unlike the ancient single slabs of stone, most modern obelisks are made of several stones and some even contain buildings. The United States contains many obelisks, and in America, the form has been used for marking historic events or places such as the Oregon Trail. For example, the city of Boise, Idaho has 21 monuments in the shape of obelisks along its portion of the Oregon Trail. However, most obelisks constructed in the U.S. are memorials for important Americans.
In America, past presidents most often receive the honor of a memorial monolith after their death. Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, has an obelisk at his birthplace in Fairview, Kentucky at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site. The site contains a 351 foot concrete obelisk as its central focal point. President Abraham Lincoln also has a memorial obelisk in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln’s obelisk acts as his tomb, and it is in the center of a 12-1/2-acre plot. Constructed of Massachusetts granite, it has a rectangular base surmounted by a 117-foot-high obelisk. But the American with the most visited obelisk is President George Washington.
The Washington Monument had over 1 million visitors annually during the years of 1979-1997. Since that time, that number has dropped for a variety of reasons, but the obelisk still plays host to over 600,000 people each year. Completed in 1888, the historical monument still fascinates people for two reasons: it is both the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk. Standing about 555 feet, the Washington Monument strikes awe in all who see it, and visitors must feel a similar sense of amazement as those Romans who first gazed upon the obelisks of Ancient Egypt.
Astounding Obelisks at Hit Trophy
Now, we at Hit Trophy have created three obelisk awards which will fill the recipients with that same feeling of amazement as those tourists who see the Washington Monument for the first time.
Amaze someone in your office, business, or organization with a miniature of that famous piece of architecture. Our Crystal Obelisk award (item #K9090) captures the majesty of the Washington Monument in crystal. Standing almost a foot tall (2.75” x 9.75”) and weighing almost 4 pounds, the clear crystal obelisk rests on an ebony square base. Provide us the important information like a person’s name, date, reason for the award, or a business logo and our design department will easily fit the info onto the obelisk. Our engraving technicians can place up to six lines of type onto the accolade you are presenting. Astound someone today with one of our Crystal Obelisks!
People who are monuments of hard work and dedication deserve a monumental award: our Glass Obelisk Trophy! Our Glass Obelisk Trophy, item #GL36, resembles a miniature Eiffel Tower of crystal rather than the Washington Monument. The obelisk stands a stately 5.5″ x 11.5″ and tips the scale at nearly three pounds. The facing surface makes an excellent engraving plate, and our graphic artists will replicate any business insignia, school mascot, or organization emblem. They will also place up to six lines of text on the trophy, and all engraving comes free of any additional charge. A free deluxe gift box is also included in the price. Show how grateful you are for those monoliths of strength and perseverance in your group by giving them our Glass Obelisk Trophy.
Finally, our Obelisk Crystal Golf Trophy, like the Washington Monument, makes an immediate grand impression. Mounted on a black crystal base, the translucent crystal top contains the image of a three dimensional golfer. The base can be engraved with silver lettering by our talented design technicians, and the engraving is free. Also included is a satin lined deluxe gift box. Available in two sizes (CRY054 = 3.75″ x 10″ and weighs 3.75 pounds: CRY054L = 3.75″ x 12″ and weighs 4 pounds), either makes a momentous award to the champion of your golf tournament.
From the Ancient Egyptians and the Romans to modern Americans, the obelisk has overwhelmed people with its beauty, simplicity, and size. Celebrate the obelisk by giving the shape that has astonished and inspired people for centuries. Present one of our obelisk awards to those people who make things happen at work, at school or at your local organization!