The only independent country in all of Africa, Ethiopia is home to is the oldest human ancestor remains ever found. The discovery was made in the Awash Valley, and are dated to be around five million years old, even older than “Lucy”, a 3.2 million year old skeleton, who was found in the same area in the year 1974. “Lucy” was named when the archeologists who discovered her were celebrating one night when the famous song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by The Beatles, came on over the radio.
Herodotus, the Greek historian (5th century BC), writes of ancient Egypt. Furthermore, Ethiopians trace their heritage back to King Solomon. The Old Testament writes of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to Jerusalem and tradition holds that she had a son, Menelik the First, with King Solomon. The remains of the Queen of Sheba’s palace can be visited today in Axum (northern Ethiopia).
The giant stele, found in Axum, are remains of one of the great civilizations of the ancient world, the Axumite Kingdom, one of the four great powers of the world at that time (100-940 AD). Other great historical sites can also be found in Axum including the Church of Saint Mary of Zion, which is said to house the Ark of the Covenant, brought there by King Solomon’s son Menelik I.
Lalibela, another famous historical city, maintains religious significance to the people of Ethiopia, as a great religious civilization flourished there during the Middle Ages, leaving rock hewn churches carved by men of strong faith and architectural skills.
Castles constructed in the 17th century and many churches give Gondar great historical attraction. The walled city of Harar is said to be the fourth holiest city in Islam, another place of great religious significance.
Ethiopia is the single African country to maintain an alphabet that is more than 2000 years old, and the sole country to have held it’s independence despite many European colonizers to the continent.
There are more than 90 million people populating Ethiopia, making it the second most populous country in Africa. Ethiopia is home to more than 82 various tribal groups, each speaking its own language and possessing unique cultural codes.