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SPACE ARCHAEOLOGY IN HARARGE, CRACKING CODES ON A 1450 VENETIAN MAP, IN CENTRAL SHOA [Abstract ID: 0518-11]
This paper discusses the discovery of vast sets of uncharted ruins inside and near Addis Ababa and in Hararge. Elements suggesting their attribution to the war between the Christian Empire and the Adal Sultanate are raising attention. I suggest paths for future action research: how to study, preserve and promote a new, unexpected, impressive and varied Ethiopian cultural heritage. The code of a medieval map, drawn by Ethiopians in Venice in 1439, has been cracked using satellite archaeology, and site visits have uncovered and named dozens of major medieval sites, both within and adjacent to Addis Ababa and in the vicinity of Harar. The extent, size and high quality of the fortresses, towns, villages, mosques and churches, uncovered or reinterpreted as pre-dating the 1528/53 Ethio Adal war, should prompt research and excavations, along with promotion and conservation efforts. The paper discusses the failures or limited success of action-research relating to the discovery or reinterpretation of massive walls, foundations and other structures, together with cultural material. It uses visual means, through slides of a dozen sites, and draws on the direct experience of the initial promoter of space archaeology in the country, as well as of numerous visitors both from within and outside Ethiopia.