An ancient necropolis discovered in Axum

An important discovery has been made by UNESCO archaeologists in Ethiopia. The research team headed by Neapolitan archaeologist Rodolfo Fattovich was sent to Ethiopia to prepare for the arrival of an ancient obelisk finally returned by Italy after years of delay. The 25-metre-high obelisk, which first had stood in the central area of the ancient site Axum, was seized by Mussolini and removed to Rome in 1937.

Axum, which dates from 100 BC, was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1980. Underground chambers and arcades were found near the original position of the obelisk, beneath an area converted into a parking zone in 1963. The scientists found that the site had been a royal necropolis for several dynasties before the kingdom adopted Christianity in circa 325 AD. As some tombs appear to be intact, the discovery can be of major historical interest. The obelisk that was flown in Ethiopia in three sections will be re-erected by October.

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Published in: on June 27, 2005 at 6:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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