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UNESCO World Heritage Obelisk of Axum.

The Axum Stelae: Multi-Story Buildings of Antiquity?

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For those of you already familiar with the remarkable monoliths which stand in Axum, Ethiopia, you will no doubt be aware of their uncanny resemblance to modern tower block apartment buildings. Along with a number of other granite obelisks of similar design at the Northern Stelae Park situated in the highlands of northern Ethiopia, the Obelisk of Axum (above) stands at around 79 feet (24 meters) tall, weighs 160 tons and was built from one solid block of granite believed to have been quarried several miles away.

The Building of the Obelisk

It is understood to have been built during the 4th century A.D. by those living during the Kingdom of Aksum , an ancient Ethiopian civilization, but in all probability is much older than that, as the city of Axum spans back to 100 BC and as has been well established, we cannot date stone so any suggested timelines for the construction of the stelae are merely speculative. 

Ethiopia - Aksum - Stelae Park - Obelisk of Axum.( rudiernst / Adobe)

Ethiopia - Aksum - Stelae Park - Obelisk of Axum.(  rudiernst / Adobe)

The experts suggest that their purpose was to act as "markers" for underground burial chambers, which is very plausible considering UNESCO discovered that "the site is a royal necropolis used by several dynasties before the Christian era".

We are also casually told by the academics that the larger monoliths represent grave markers solely for royal burial chambers and were decorated with 'multi-story false windows and false doors, while lesser nobility would have smaller, less decorated ones.'

As the images reveal, the stelae clearly shows false windows and doors which are highly reminiscent of those seen on modern apartment buildings. So, if that has been readily accepted by the academics and historians already, why is nobody addressing the elephant in the room which is WHY they look like modern tower blocks? 

Close up of the obelisk showing false door. (knovakov / Adobe)

Close up of the obelisk showing false door. ( knovakov / Adobe)

Why was the Obelisk of Axum intricately carved to represent a nine-story building - with two false doors at the base, which include door handles and false locks? Incredibly each 'story' of the building reveals a frame with structural supports beside the windows, all of which suggest a modern construction.

The Obelisk Rebuilt

The Obelisk which lay in ruin for hundreds of years was only re-discovered in 1935 by Italian soldiers during the conquest of Ethiopia. It was then taken to Rome in three pieces where it was reassembled. Following the end of the Second World War, the United Nations insisted that the stelae be returned to Ethiopia and finally in 2007, after years of trouble and delays, the Obelisk was finally returned to its original home.

Workers during Aksum Obelisk re-installation. (Eric00000007 / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Workers during Aksum Obelisk re-installation. (Eric00000007 / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

If the ancient Africans responsible for the construction of the Axum Stelae were imitating buildings they had seen, or simply commemorating their own Axumite buildings, then that alone would be an astounding fact.

Similar Buildings In Present Time

If we consider that the first tower block to be built in Great Britain was a residential tower block called "The Lawn" (image below) which was constructed in Harlow, Essex in 1951, then one might question how an ancient and seemingly primitive civilization such as the Axumites gained their inspiration for the design work inherent in their granite monoliths.

The Lawn, Harlow New Town, Essex. (a view from the interior / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Lawn, Harlow New Town, Essex. (a view from the interior / CC BY-SA 2.0 )

It was only 67 years earlier that the world’s first skyscraper was erected in 1884-1885. The Home Insurance Building in Chicago which is now considered the “Father of the Skyscraper” was 10 stories high, reaching a maximum height of 138 feet. The landmark building did not last long and was ironically demolished the same year, in 1931, that the Empire State Building in New York was completed. 

Interestingly however, despite the Chicago building claiming the title of the world's first skyscraper, if we venture deep into the remote valley in Yemen, to the city of Shibam (below), we find a desert landscape scattered with high-rise buildings not unlike the familiar cityscapes we see in the modern era. 

Vintage image of Shibam, Yemen. (javarman / Adobe)

Vintage image of Shibam, Yemen. ( javarman / Adobe)

After a huge flood destroyed much of the existing settlement, the inhabitants built five hundred buildings out of mud back in the 1530s, nearly 500 years ago. Ranging from between five to eleven stories high, the mud skyscrapers of Shibam have become known as the "Manhattan of the Desert".

Mirroring the Soviet-style blocks found throughout the Arab world, the buildings would not seem so impressive were it not for their extreme age and the ingenious construction methods required to build them.

So, it would seem that the tower blocks as seen in the Yemen desert have been around for hundreds of years before the West began constructing their more modern versions which have become synonymous with wealth and power in the biggest cities around the world.

It therefore seems even more feasible that what the Ethiopian kings were depicting with their false imitation tower blocks thousands of years in the past, could truly represent a time long since forgotten and lost to history. The African continent holds many secrets, and the ancient civilizations which flourished in the distant past may well hold the key to many of the mysteries surrounding this most surreptitious continent.

This photo shows part of the North Stelae Park in Axum, Ethiopia. To the left are the shattered remains of the Great Obelisk, on the right is the 27-meter tall (some would say 23-meter tall) obelisk called "King Ezana's Stelae." (Magnus Manske / CC BY-SA 2.0)

This photo shows part of the North Stelae Park in Axum, Ethiopia. To the left are the shattered remains of the Great Obelisk, on the right is the 27-meter tall (some would say 23-meter tall) obelisk called "King Ezana's Stelae." (Magnus Manske / CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Top image: UNESCO World Heritage Obelisk of Axum.     Source: Dmitry Chulov / Adobe

For more information on ancient civilizations and hidden history read The Myth Of Man by J.P. Robinson.

By J.P Robinson

References

AlluringWorld.com . Obelisk of Axum. [Online] Available at: http://www.alluringworld.com/obelisk-of-axum
Muscato, Christopher. Obelisk of Axum: History. Study.com [Online] Available at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/obelisk-of-axum-history.html

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