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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KIFLE Zerue, Aksum University, Ethiopia
HILUF Berhe, Aksum University, Ethiopia

The idea of conducting archaeological site assessment or survey with an aim of finding evidences of archaeological sites and cultural objects between the area of Yeha and Edaga-Hamus is of first importance. The study area mentioned above had never been surveyed archaeologically, and therefore, we did not know the archaeological potential of the area, type and frequency of cultural objects, the reason of settlement choice by ancient community who had lived perhaps either in the Pre-Aksumite or Aksumite period, or state of preservation of the archaeological heritage before the current archaeological research was conducted. We went to the site with the expectation that any archaeological evidence would be found either on the surface of the ground or beneath the surface overlaid one over the other because of deposition in different period of time. Therefore, there are many pertinent justification objectives why we have planned to conduct an archaeological assessment and documentation of cultural materials, identify potential archaeological sites, establish relative chronology of the sites, overview the overall history of the area and reduce destruction of archaeological sites and artifacts. Hence, to meet the objectives described above, a descriptive type of research design and a qualitative method of data analysis have been employed. The total survey area covers 216km2 and from this total area, 4.8 km2 have been surveyed per a day. Respondents were composed of farmers, religious men, administrators, and agricultural experts. Some of the potential archaeological sites identified during the survey include Enda-Afras, Zban-Emba, Adi-Islam, Mezabr and the rock shelter of Enda Abune-Yima’eta. Most of the sites are located in the tablelands, hills and at the foot, side and top of mountains. This is because the central valley is not preferable for settlement because of malaria and other problems resulting from natural and anthropogenic factors. Our conclusion is based on the evidence collected from surface collection. Based on this, the newly identified sites had different functions such as settlement sites, workshop areas, burial and possibly belief (worship) areas. More importantly, stone artifacts that possibly dated to the MSA and LSA period and other obsidian artifacts are recorded. Generally, the archaeological materials recorded from the identified sites are manifestations of social organization, subsistence of the time, technology and other socio-cultural contacts of ancient communities who permanently settled in the area. However, to understand the history of the area fully, further investigation by excavation is needed. Hence it is better to recommend that excavation should be needed basically at the site of Mezabr where the stone artifacts such as MSA and LSA are found.