Isolated in the desert to the west of the Tomb of the Nobles is the ancient Western Quarry, where stone for many ancient monuments – possibly including the Colossi of Memnon – was quarried. A large unfinished obelisk, made for Seti I (1294–1279 BC), was decorated on three sides of its apex before it was abandoned.

Expect to pay at least E£90, after bargaining, for the camel ride from the boat landing, 30 minutes each way. Take plenty of water, and watch for snakes.

Near the obelisk, the ancient quarry face and marks are clearly visible, along with tracks on which the huge blocks were dragged down to the Nile.