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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:On the megalithic sites of the Gurage highlands: a study of enigmatic nature of engravings and megalith builders
Author:Derara, WorkuISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Ethiopian Journal of the Social Sciences and Humanities (ISSN 1810-4487)
Volume:6
Issue:1-2
Pages:63-81
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:prehistoric graves
rock art
External link:https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ejossah/article/view/72257
Abstract:The megalithic culture in Ethiopia consists of stelae, dolmens, and tumuli which are extensively distributed throughout the country. Compared to the extent of the distribution, however, the initial tasks of methodically surveying and locating them have been conducted relatively less. This inventory is aimed at identifying, locating and describing megalithic sites in the Gurage highlands, principally those in the districts of Sodo and Mehur-Aklil. The investigation has unearthed the existence of a montage of megalithic culture, comprising tambourines associated with a tumulus and decorated flat stelae in Sodo, and dressed but undecorated stelae of diverse shapes - flat, rectangular, pentagonal and cylindrical - in Mehur-Aklil. The decorated stelae in Sodo bear engravings representing humans, daggers and some other enigmatic decorations with symbolic significance hitherto unknown. Ethnographic data may help to arrive at a plausible interpretation of the representations engraved on these stelae. Aside from problems related to the meanings of symbols, it is quite difficult to establish a relative chronology of the sites based on technological variation. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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