Lost Ethiopian Islamic Kingdom Unearthed

A team of French archaeologists have unearthed the remains of three mediaeval towns believed to have been the heart of the ancient Islamic Kingdom of Shoa in Ethiopia.

Lost Ethiopian Islamic Kingdom Unearthed

"Mosques,residential areas, walls and various buildings whose remains are several metershigh" stud the sites, the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)said in a press release cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

It added that a teamof archaeologists had laid bare the remains of the three towns of Asbari, Masaland Nora on the a high escarpment of the Rift Valley.

The discovery wasmade in an area about 11 kilometers long, around 45 kilometerssoutheast of the town of Shoa Robit, in the Ifat region, the CNRS said.

Though the area iscovered in thick brush and scrub, it still bears the vestiges of terracedfarming from hundreds of years ago, the CNRS noted.

In Asbari, the Frenchteam unearthed the remarkably well-preserved remains of a mosque that theybelieve to be one of the biggest in Ethiopia, whose walls are adorned withinscriptions in Arabic.

A cemetery coveringseveral hectares that contained hundreds of graves was also found in the area.

In Masal, thearchaeologists uncovered a necropolis with a tomb emblazoned with stars andArabic inscriptions that may have been a royal sepulture.

The CNRS stressedthat Nora was clearly once a "dense urban center," with a network ofstreets and the remains of roads.

It said the town'smain mosque has remains of walls up to five meters high.

Large numbers oftools made of obsidian, a rock that is a kind of naturally occurring glass,were also found at the site.

Islamic Kingdom

Ancient manuscriptshave long told of the kingdom of Shoa, which straddled key trade routes betweenthe Christian highlands and Muslim ports on the Red Sea between the 10th and16th centuries, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

It was believed tohave been founded in 896 with Walalah as its capital.

The kingdom wasabsorbed by the Sultanate of Ifat around the end of the 13th century.

In 1528, Shoa wasoverrun by the Muslim state of Adal to the east and its ancient cities weredestroyed.

For over a centuryafterward, Shoa was penetrated by the Oromo people from the south, whoestablished themselves in farming communities as far north as the Blue Nilevalley.

In 1856 , Shoa wasincorporated into the Ethiopian empire but Menilek II regained his kingdom ofShoa and in 1886 he chose the site for Addis Ababa as his future capital.

When Menilek becameemperor of the whole country in 1889 Addis Ababa became the capital of Ethiopia.

However, the preciseplace of the Shoa Kingdom on the map has never been clear.

But many believe thatthe nucleus of Shoa is part of the mountainous plateau in what is currently thecentral area of Ethiopia.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16