Melka Kunture, Addadi Mariam and Tiya Stelae excursion
Program: Melka Kunture, Adadi Mariam and Tiya
Tour Code: Entoto 08
Duration: Full Day
Day1: after Breakfast, we drive south-west on the Jimma road, before turning due south on to the Butajira Road. Melka Kunture lies near the Awash River Gorge and is one of the most important Neolithic sites in Ethiopia. Hand axes and various other implements have been found here. There is a small museum at the site. About 10 km further on the Butajira Road, is the rock hewn church of Adadi Mariam, contemporaneous with those of Lalibela – in fact local tradition ascribes it to King Lalibela who is said to have had it built on his visit to Mount Ziquala in 1106. Damaged during the wars with Ahmed Gragn in the 16th century, it failed into disuse and was reopened in the time of Menelik II. After the church, we drive back to main road for Tiya stele, acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here we can see the northernmost example of a peculiar type of engraved, standing stelae which stretch across parts of southern Ethiopia. These stelae are believed to have been erected between the 12th and 14th centuries and are almost certainly grave markers – recent excavations at Tiya have revealed the remains of young people of both sexes, aged between 18 – 30 years.
Itinerary can be amended upon request