Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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DEGSEW Zerihun, Archaeology researcher at ARCCH, Ethiopia
MISGANAW Gebremichael, Archaeology researcher at ARCCH, Ethiopia

An archaeological survey funded by the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) was conducted in the Afar national regional state of eastern Ethiopia in 2017. The main objective of the research was to document new archaeological sites in the Afar region. Accordingly, a survey was conducted in Asayita and Mille area of the region. This abstract will only focus on the survey of Mille woreda. The researchers employed a ground reconnaissance survey using GPS and photography. Furthermore, the recorded pictures were traced for further analysis documentation in the ARCCH. As a result, the team was able to identify a new rock art site of Kudina Kayilu in the Mille woreda which is about 37 km south of the town. The study of rock art and other historical archaeology sites in Afar Regions has been neglected. The rich potential of fossils in the area has drawn world prolific paleontologists and archaeologists to conduct various researches on both the biological and cultural evolution of human beings. However, none of them were able to conduct or report a single research on the rock art site of the area. The Mille woreda is currently under study by a group of researchers from all over the world led by the famous Ethiopian Dr Yohannis Hailesillasie. The team has been recovering a number of hominid fossils for the past decades including the recent discovery of a new species called Dyromeda. What makes the new rock art site unique is that, unlike most rock art sites in Ethiopia, it is not depicted on a rock shelter or a cave, instead it is portrayed on a basalt boulder. In this rock art, both pictograph and petroglyph were found and they are exhibited in more than 10 panels. In addition, humpless and humped cattle, snake, ostrich and geometric figures are also depicted. Even though the rock art site depicts all type of styles, the dominant ones are the characteristics of the second stage of the Ethiopian-Arabian style of 1970’s Cervicek classification.