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Obelisk in National Archaeological Museum

Present Site:  National Archaeological Museum, Florence
N 43°46'35.8"(43.776616) E 11°15'41.3"(11.261475)
Pharaoh:  Probably made by Romans in AD 2nd Century
Measurement:  1.73 meters high
Stone:  Black granite

About The Site:
National Archaeological Museum in Florence (Firenze) was established in 1870 by Vittorio Emanuele II (The First King of Kingdom of Italy, Reigned 1861-1878). The collection is based on the Etruscan and Roman remains which have been stored in several museums in Florence, and is still expanding and improving now.
As for the Egyptian collections, in addition to the collections of the Medici family, many unearthed articles were added since Leopoldo II, Grand Duke of Tuscany has financially supported to the archeological expedition led by Ippolito Rosellini (Italian Egyptologist) and Champollion (French scholar who first deciphered hieroglyphics). In Italy, Museo Egizio in Turin (Torino) is known as the museum which is proud of the world-class Egyptian collections, and the National Archaeological Museum in Florence is next to Turin.
Chimera of Arezzo Chimera of Arezzo

In terms of the Etruscan collections, this museum is proud of the top level in Italy, and the bronze "Chimera of Arezzo" catches the eyes as the best examples of the Etruscans Arts. (See picture) In addition to this, fine arts such as Minerva statue and many Etruscan pots are exhibited. It's worth to spare the time for appreciating those high level of exhibitions.
In Florence, Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) (known as the collections of "The Birth of Venus" and so on) is the top interesting spot for the tourists, and is always crowded as it must purchase a ticket in advance. But little tourists come to this National Archaeological Museum. Since there are few visitors in the weekdays, you can see the collections carefully as you wish.

How To Get There:
National Archaeological Museum is located about 1 km east of Railroad Central Station (Firenze Santa Maria Novella). It's walkable to the Museum, but there is no direct street, and the street is rather complex. Using a bus would be more convenient. If you take a bus #6 from Firenze S.M.N. Station, it arrives the bus stop "Muzeo Archeologico" which is just in front of the Museum. The bus ticket is available through the automatic vending machine at the Railroad Station.

Facade of National Archaeological MuseumFacade of National Archaeological Museum

About The Obelisk:
This obelisk is supposed to have been made in 2nd Century (Roman Empire Era) in Italy. The pattern similar to hieroglyphics is inscribed. The contents are different on each face, and are written chock on the whole surface. I assume this might be a meaningful sentence when it was made. However, I don't think there is a reference literature on the inscriptions. The museum's explanation only says "Obelisk with a fake hieroglyphic inscription, Roman Period, 2nd century A.D.", and no further descriptions.
This obelisk is currently set in the last exhibition room which relates to Egyptian articles, which collected the remains of Roman Empire Era. Due to a poor lighting, I could barely take a picture of front face which the lighting strikes. But I couldn't take it for the side faces due to poor lighting.
On the other hand, the picture in 2008 can be seen on wikipedia site. It was taken when it was in the museum's passage, and we can also slightly see the right side face, not only the front side. We can understand the different inscriptions are engraved on right and front sides.

Notes For Pictures:
I knew about the existence of this Florence Obelisk through the picture posted on Wikimedia, like Ramses X Obelisk in Bologna (Museo Civico Archeologico). But, since this was only information on this obelisk, and there was no guarantee that the obelisk is actually exhibited until I visit here. I was really rest assumed when I found it in the museum, although the picture taking condition was not good due to the poor lighting.
With the visit of this obelisk, I finally accomplished my plan that I visit all the confirmed obelisk as of Spring 2016. Although it tool five years including the preparation, but I am really satisfied with my efforts that accomplish the goal, without major trouble.


Left: May 4, 2016 by Hiroyuki Nagase    Right: Dec. 20, 2008   Image by Sailko - Supported by Wikimedia CH
(For high definition image, please click the picture)

Copyright Hiroyuki Nagase nagase@obelisks.org and Shoji Okamoto okamoto@obelisks.org