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Welcome to the companion Web site to the NOVA program "Pharaoh's Obelisk," originally broadcast on February 8, 2000. In the film, which is a part of the NOVA series Secrets of Lost Empires, NOVA brings together a team of Egyptologists, engineers, stonemasons, and timber framers to probe the mystery of how the ancients shaped, transported, and erected their elegant obelisks. Here's what you'll find online:
  • How Big Were They? (Hot Science)
    Try your hand at figuring out how many seven-ton elephants you'd need to balance a scale bearing the largest Egyptian obelisk ever raised.

  • Cutting Granite with Sand
    In this virtual slide show, get a glimpse at the tools and techniques the ancient Egyptians used to pound out, saw through, and drill into solid granite to make their glorious monuments.

  • NOVA Raises an Obelisk
    Follow the ups and downs as NOVA crews in Egypt and Massachusetts try two different techniques - one successful, one not—for erecting a massive stone obelisk.

  • Lever an Obelisk
    The goal in this Shockwave game is to lift a virtual obelisk using as few as possible of the weights and support stones provided online. An engineering challenge worthy of the ancients.

  • Explore Ancient Egypt
    Want to see the Sphinx up close? Clamber inside the Great Pyramid? Visit the magnificent tombs and temples of Luxor? Take a self-guided QuickTime tour through the Land of the Pharaohs.

  • Mysteries of the Nile
    Relive this exciting Online Adventure to Egypt, which took place in March 1999. Follow NOVA's attempt to raise its obelisk through illustrated dispatches from the field, interviews with experts, and more.
Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide.

How Big Were They? | Cutting Granite with Sand | NOVA Raises an Obelisk
Lever an Obelisk | Explore Ancient Egypt | Mysteries of the Nile | Resources | Transcript

Medieval Siege | Pharaoh's Obelisk | Easter Island | Roman Bath | China Bridge | Site Map

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© | created January 2000
Resources Teacher's Guide Lever an Obelisk How Big Were They? Cutting Granite with Sand Mysteries of the Nile Explore Ancient Egypt NOVA Raises an Obelisk /wgbh/nova/lostempires/