His­tor­i­cal snip­pets

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ETHIOPIA -

Ethiopia’s history goes back to very early times and there have been many no­table fos­sil re­mains. The most fa­mous is the re­mains of Lucy, who is one of the most com­plete and best pre­served, adult Aus­tralo­p­ithecine fos­sils ever un­cov­ered. She dates to 3.2 mil­lion years ago.

Ethiopia was also men­tioned in an­cient Egyp­tian records, known as the “Land of Punt’. And it was from Punt that the Egyp­tians traded for their pre­cious sup­ply of myrrh. The most fa­mous ex­pe­di­tion to Punt was by the Pharaoh Hat­shep­sut, c.1495 BCE, and is recorded on the Tem­ple at Deir el Bahri at Thebes.

The first king­dom to have been known in Ethiopia is that of D’mt, and was based at Yeha about 700 BCE.

The king­dom of Axum was the first pow­er­ful king­dom to emerge in the 1st cen­tury CE, known as one of the four great pow­ers at the time along with China, Per­sia and Rome.

Chris­tian­ity was in­tro­duced to the coun­try in 330 CE by Fru­men­tious who con­verted the ruler Ezana at the time. As a re­sult of his ex­pan­sions, Aksum bor­dered on the Ro­man province of Egypt.

The Ax­u­mite king­dom is recorded as con­trol­ling the whole of Ye­men in the 6th cen­tury CE, but it is thought to end in the 7th cen­tury CE, although the rea­sons for its demise are lit­tle known.

The rock hewn churches first ap­peared in the late Ak­sum­ite era but most be­long to the Zagwe dy­nasty, which es­tab­lished its cap­i­tal at Roha. Here they built a se­ries of mono­lithic churches which are tra­di­tion­ally as­cribed to the King Ge­bre Mesqel Lal­i­bela, and thus re­named the city af­ter him.

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