The New York Obelisk, Cleopatra’s Needle

Why is this ancient Egyptian obelisk in New York City?

The New York Obelisk (Cleopatra’s Needle) c. 1425 B.C.E. (erected at the Temple of the Sun, Heliopolis, Egypt, re-erected in Alexandria 13 B.C.E.), red granite from Aswan, 71 feet high (since 1881 Greywacke Knoll, Central Park, New York City). Speakers: Dr. Elizabeth Macaulay and Dr. Steven Zucker

How the Obelisk Made Its Home in Central Park from the Central Park Conservancy

Watch a lecture series on Cleopatra’s Needle from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bob Brier, Cleopatra’s Needles: The Lost Obelisks of Egypt (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016).

Martina D’Alton, “The New York Obelisk or How Cleopatra’s Needle Came to New York and What Happened When It Got Here,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, volume 50, number 4 (1993), pp. 1–72.

Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

[flickr_tags user_id=”82032880@N00″ tags=”obelisknysh,”]

More Smarthistory images…

Cite this page as: Dr. Elizabeth Macaulay and Dr. Steven Zucker, "The New York Obelisk, Cleopatra’s Needle," in Smarthistory, February 27, 2024, accessed July 20, 2024,