Cleopatra's Needles , two ancient Egyptian obelisks—tall, slender monuments—of rose-red granite. One has stood since 1880 in New York City's Central Park, and the other since 1878 on London's Thames embankment. They are about 3,500 years old and have suffered much from erosion due to the damp climates. They were found in Alexandria.
The two stones are about the same size. The New York obelisk is almost 8 feet (2.4 m) square at its base and about 67 feet (20 m) tall. The London stone is about 18 inches (46 cm) taller. Both are four-sided and taper upward. The surface of each is carved with hieroglyphs.
The obelisks were erected by Pharaoh Thutmose III about 1475 B.C. at the entrance to the sun god's temple in Heliopolis. The Roman emperor Augustus brought them north to Alexandria about 14 B.C. The name "Cleopatra's Needle" is a popular term; the stones have no connection with the ancient queen.