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Cleopatra's Needle is located on the Thames Embankment in London close to the Embankment underground station. The Obelisk was actually constructed for Tuthmose III and is carved with Hieroglyphics praising Tuthmose and commemorating his third sed festival. Later inscriptions were added by Ramesses II to commemorate his victories.

Plaques mounted round the base of the Obelisk give a brief history of the needle, and commemorated the men who died in the removal and transportation of the stone. There are four plaques and they have the following texts on them.

THIS OBELISK QUARRIED AT SYENE
WAS ERECTED AT ON (HELIOPOLIS)
BY THE PHARAOH
THOTHMES III IN ABOUT 1500 B.C.
LATERAL INSCRIPTIONS WERE ADDED
NEARLY TWO CENTURIES LATER
BY RAMESES THE GREAT
REMOVED DURING THE GREEK DYNASTY
TO ALEXANDRIA
THE ROYAL CITY OF CLEOPATRA
IT WAS THERE ERECTED IN THE
18th YEAR OF AUGUSTUS CAESAR B.C. 12

THROUGH THE PATRIOTIC ZEAL OF
ERASMUS WILSON F.R.S.
WAS BROUGHT FROM ALEXANDRIA
ENCASED IN AN IRON CYLINDER
IT WAS ABANDONED DURING A STORM
IN THE BAY OF BISCAY
RECOVERED AND ERECTED
ON THIS SPOT BY
JOHN DIXON C.E.
IN THE 42nd YEAR OF THE REIGN OF
QUEEN VICTORIA
1879


THIS OBELISK
PROSTRATE FOR CENTURIES
WAS PRESENTED TO THE
BRITISH NATION A.D. 1819 BY
MAHOMMED ALI VICEROY OF EGYPT
A WORTHY MEMORIAL OF
OUR DISTINGUISHED COUNTRYMEN
NELSON AND ABERCROMBY




WILLIAM ASKIN - MICHAEL BURNS
JAMES GARDINER - WILLIAM DONALD
JOSEPH BENTON - WILLIAM PATAN
PERISHED IN A BOLD ATTEMPT
TO SUCCOUR THE CREW OF THE
OBELISK SHIP CLEOPATRA DURING
THE STORM OCTOBER 14th 1877




The setting is neatly completed by two large bronze Sphinxes which lie on either side of the Needle. These are a very Victorian version of the traditional Egyptian original, but still look impressive.

There are also other pseudo Egyptian touches on the embankment such as the buxom winged sphinxes on the benches.