Field and river

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

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

ICES20 logo

Use the "back" button of your browser to return to the list of abstracts.


Iris GERLACH, German Archaeological Institute, Orient Department, Sanaa Branch

The northern Horn of Africa was not an isolated area in ancient times, but instead was part of various mobility systems such as migrations of peoples, trade and exchange. Accordingly, in prehistoric times as well as from the 1st millennium BC onwards regional and supra-regional interaction routes connected the Ethiopian highlands with the Near East (especially South Arabia) extending as far as Rome, Greece and India via the Red Sea, but also with the African continent. Especially the beginning of the 1st millennium BC marks a process of dynamic cultural development on the northern Horn of Africa, which led to the formation of a complex society. A new polity emerged in the Abyssinian highlands, which is named Di´amat in inscriptions of the 8th/7th centuries BC. Basing on written evidence as well as monumental architecture the site of Yeha, located 35 km east of Aksum, can be viewed not only as an administrative and political center, but also as the religious centre of Di´amat.Research on the ancient cultural sphere of Yeha is the focal point of the Ethiopian-German joint project, which is being conducted by the Authority of Research and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) and the Tigrai Culture and Tourism Bureau (TCTB) in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute (Berlin) and the Friedrich Schiller University (Jena). In addition to scientific research and restoration measures, also cultural political endeavors are being realized in Yeha such as the conduction of various educational programs at the site and the establishment of an archaeological museum. This museum was built in cooperation with the Ethiopian and German partners on the church compound of Yeha near to the Great Temple and consists of three rooms with together 100 m² exhibition space. The paper will present the architectural conception of the museum, the construction work as well as the development of the exhibition concept.