Written in Stone

An Interview with Bob Brier

Egypt’s obelisks have captured human imagination from the time of their construction to the present day, attracting the interest of the Roman emperor Augustus, Napoleon Bonaparte, and William Henry Vanderbilt, among others. New York City is home to one of the most magnificent Egyptian obelisks, which followed a fraught and circuitous path from the granite quarries of Aswan to Fifth Avenue. Here, renowned Egyptologist Bob Brier explains its history and the technical genius and political savvy needed to secure this treasure for America.

Octavian Report: The Egyptian obelisk in Central Park has a fascinating backstory — can you talk about its provenance and history?

Bob Brier: Let me say first that the obelisk is one of the overlooked treasures of New York. Most …

You need a subscription to view this content. Subscribe here!
Already have an account? Log in here.
Want to try this article for free before subscribing? Click here.