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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Remarks on the Pre-Aksumite Period in Northern Ethiopia
Author:Fattovich, Rodolfo
Periodical:Journal of Ethiopian Studies
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
Northeast Africa
pre-Christian era
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Anthropology and Archaeology
History, Archaeology
Archaeological sites
Aksum (Ethiopia)
Cultural property
Abstract:The pre-Aksumite period, which is conventionally dated to the second half of the first millennium BC and the early first millennium AD, represents a crucial phase of the ancient history of Ethiopia. Its investigation is particularly relevant to the solution of some basic problems of Ethiopian archaeology and history: the ethnogenesis of the Semitic-speaking peoples of Ethiopia, the dynamics of State formation in northern Ethiopia, and the origins of Aksum. The author reviews the present state of knowledge about the pre-Aksumite period on the basis of the available archaeological evidence from Ethiopia and the marginal regions. He lists the known pre-Aksumite sites, describes pre-Aksumite culture (monuments, tombs, sculptures, small votive altars, pottery, metal tools and seals, lithic industry, writing), outlines the phases of development and establishes a tentative chronology, and describes pre-Aksumite society and territorial organization. Finally, he considers the three major hypotheses which have been forwarded to explain the origins of pre-Aksumite culture: migrations of peoples from South Arabia to northern Ethiopia in late prehistorical times, Sabean colonization, and acculturation, and distinguishes some cultural components: South Arabian, African, Red Sea, Greek, Achemenian and Meroitic, reflecting different traditions which converged to create it. Ref.