In Ethiopia, legends lead archaeologists to a mysterious structure

In Ethiopia, legends lead archaeologists to a mysterious structure
In Ethiopia, legends lead archaeologists to a mysterious structure

Polish and Italian archaeologists conducting excavations in Ethiopia, using an unmanned aerial vehicle, discovered the ruins of an ancient monumental structure, the memory of which has been preserved in local legends.

The eight-day study was conducted in northern Ethiopia in March 2020, according to Nauka w Polsce. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was terminated ahead of schedule. However, scientists received enough material to study.

They chose the location for the survey based on local legends. They say that once upon a time on the top of the hill in Debre-Gergis there was a magnificent building.

“The local population knows that there was once a Christian temple in this place, but it is not known exactly when it was, and how it was arranged,” says Dr. Michela Gaudiello, head of the research project.

For the first time in Ethiopia, a drone was used to conduct such a large-scale archaeological study. With its help, scientists were able to find traces of the structure, after which they went to the site and began excavations.

They managed to find large stone columns several meters high and the remains of walls. This is all that remains on the surface of the earth from the building. It was indeed built on top of a hill dominating the surrounding area.

During the excavations, numerous fragments of ceramics and a stone block with an inscription carved on it were discovered. It was engraved in ancient Ethiopian language. Scientists have already begun to decipher this text.

Based on the block and fragments of ceramics, archaeologists were able to tentatively date the mysterious structure. According to their estimates, it was erected between 700 and 1100 AD.

Scientists suggest that the found building was a Christian temple. So, presumably, a fragment of an apse was discovered - the remains of a stone floor, which was located in a semicircular ledge of the building. Similar elements are characteristic of Christian churches.

By the way, this sanctuary was located on the trade route that led from the "depths" of Africa to Axum - the capital of the Christian state that existed in the first centuries of our era.

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