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Axum

Axum is about 1,000km north of Addis Ababa, just shy of the Eritrea border. This historical site was the name of a kingdom once upon a time. Axum ruled the region from 400BC and was in fact the second capital city of Ethiopia from the 1st through to the 6th century AD. The rulers of Axum (otherwise spelt Aksum) or back then known as the Aksumite Kingdom, controlled their trade through the ports on the Red Sea between Rome and India. UNESCO has added Axum’s archeological sites to its list of World Heritage Sites due to their ancient historical significance.

Axum is famous for its stelaes or obelisks built in memory of the Great Emperor of Axum and the Queen of Sheba. This prominent historical attraction is an open-air exhibition of Ethiopia's pre and post Axumite civilization. These obelisks are around 1700 years old and have become a symbol of the Ethiopian people’s identity. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims that the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion houses the Biblical Ark of the Covenant in which lie the Twin Tablets of Law, which portray the Ten Commandments that Moses received from God on Mt Sinai.

The Axumite kingdom was founded on the northern tip of Ethiopia at a place called Aksum by the native Sabean people. The creation of this kingdom was an indication of a power shift from the capital at Yeha to the fertile lands of Aksum.

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