See Philea island, the High Dam and unfinished obelisk in half day. The tiny island of Philea captured the imagination of countless travellers to Egypt from early times. It was famed for its beauty and was known as the "pearl of Egypt". Gracious Graeco-Roman temples and colonnades, kiosks and sanctuaries rose proudly against the skyline. There was a sense of mystery. Not furtive, inviolate secrets, so much as veiled mystification. The High Dam was the cornerstone of the country's economic development envisioned by Gamal Abdel Nasser. It was built during the years 1960-71 and was largely financed and supervised by the Soviet Union. The unfinished obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk, located in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt. The unfinished obelisk offers unusual insights into ancient Egyptian stone-working techniques, with marks from workers' tools still clearly visible as well as ocher-colored lines marking where they were working.