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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The 'Ona' culture of greater Asmara: archaeology's liberation of Eritrea's ancient history from colonial paradigms
Author:Schmidt, Peter R.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eritrean Studies (Asmara)
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Eritrea
Northeast Africa
conservation of cultural heritage
Anthropology and Archaeology
History and Exploration
Urbanization and Migration
History, Archaeology
Cultural property
Abstract:Four training and research programmes conducted by the University of Asmara during 1998 and 1999 have led to major discoveries concerning the 'Ona' culture of greater Asmara that change the way that the rise of urbanism is seen in the Horn of Africa and suggest a new ancient history of Eritrea free of either an Ethio-Sabean or an Aksumite frame of reference. Excavations at Sembel indicate that between 800 BC and 400 BC the highlands around Asmara supported the earliest settled pastoral and agricultural communities known in the Horn. These communities predate and are also contemporaneous with pre-Aksumite settlements in the highlands of southern Eritrea and northern Ethiopia during the middle of the first millennium BC. These ancient communities are now under severe threat, with many sites facing destruction. The key to a successful campaign to locate and assess 'Ona' and other heritage sites is an on-site museum at Sembel. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]