Ethiopia Then and Now

Archaeology in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s first ancient holy city was known as the Empire of Aksum. This was the birthplace of Ethiopian civilization and originated over two hundred years ago between two mountains, two hundred and ninety-five kilometers inland from the Red Sea. The Kings and Queens of the Empire of Aksum erected magnificent statues to commemorate the victories and losses. It was the first African society to begin domestic and foreign trade with silver and gold coins.

Aksum has rich archaeological history. It is the site of some of the most breath-taking and mysterious artifacts in the world. Giant obelisks, constructed from single blocks of granite, are larger than the Egyptian obelisks and are tall, thin standing stones. The largest statue, known as Stelae 1, had a total height of over thirty meters high and weighed about six hundred tonnes (600). It now lies in the field broken into four pieces but still maintains its original glory and power. The architects and builders of these monstrous architectures succeeded in construction without modern technology and skills. Archaeologists and anthropologists still work toward answering these difficult questions.

Ethiopia Today

  • 40% of Ethiopians practice Christianity.
  • Ethiopia has one of the lowest life expectancy worldwide. Women live to an average age of fifty and men live an average age of 48.
  • Forty-nine percent of Ethiopian girls marry before 18 years old.
  • It is one of the least calorie-consuming countries at an average of 1850 calories per day.
  • Ethiopia the the fifth poorest country in the world where two-thirds of Ethiopians live on less than one dollar per day.
  • The national language of Ethiopia is Amharic, but there are over eighty two languages and two hundred dialects spoken around the country.
  • Ethiopians eat an abundance of raw meat during celebratory occasions like weddings or festivals. It is considered a delicacy.
  • It is the fifth largest producer of coffee in the world.
  • Thirteen percent of Ethiopian children are missing one or both parents. One quarter of those parents have been lost in the AIDS epidemic.