The Temple of YEHA

Yeha which was believed to be the first Ethiopian capital is found in the northern region of Ethiopia called Tigray. Located 15 miles (25 km) northeast of the modern town of Adwa, Yeha is a large Bronze Age largest and most impressive archaeological site in the Horn of Africa showing evidence of contact with South Arabia, leading some scholars to describe Yeha and other sites as precursors to the Aksumite civilization. This very old city is now a small settlement like a shanty town. It was once a center of the Da’amat kingdom that existed before Axum. Axum was the heart from which the pulse of this great civilization trolled. Its ruined palaces, tombs, majestic monuments, and inscriptions are attestations of its past glory. At one time it extended across the red sea to Yemen and was reckon by the 3rd century Persian historian Mani to be one of the fourth great powers of the ancient world alongside Persia, China and Roma.

Two days visit to Tigray churches

The Great Temple of Yeha which dates to about the 7th century BC was dedicated to the god of Almaqah. It was built on a hill top in excellent engineering techniques of dry masonry by joining large dressed blocks of stones. It is a rectangular building measuring 18.5 by 15 m with a single entrance that survives up to a maximum height of 14 m. Regular rectangular dressed block of stones up to 3 m long were used to build its walls without mortar being used, and the inside of the walls was believed to have been covered with gold and other still undiscovered materials. Today the temple of Yeha, with one side in ruins, is still standing.

The temple of Yeha
The temple of Yeha

Different archeological excavations show that the temple was destroyed by fire. Treasures such as gold rings, golden lions, stone-engraved inscriptions written in Sabean, stone-carved animals like the Walia ibex, pottery works and other items has been uncovered. Some of these findings are displayed in the small church museum found in the same compound as the temple while others are displayed at the National Museum in Addis Ababa.