Yeha- The ancient settlement in the Abyssinian highlands 27/10/2018

30 km Asphalted  road east of Axum through Adwa –Adigrat (signboard to Yeha) and 5km gravsl road from the main road.  

The small town Yeha is situated in a fertile valley surrounded by beautiful chains of mountains and it is the birth place of ancient civilization in the Horn Africa. It is one of the oldest cultural heritage centers in the Horn of Africa.  Yeha’s origin as a political and cultural center of the old state of Da’amat and as an urban center goes back to 800 BC. It has been cross- cultural center between western Africa and the Middle East and between the Mediterranean world and Indian Ocean, which served as a link with Far East. As a result, this area enjoyed the experience of diversified cultures. Yeha was a place where small-scale industries that resulted in the production of tools, weapons and utensils needed by its people flourished. Among other attractions, Yeha preserves of ruins of monumental structures including a palace at Grat Beal Gebr, a temple and a group of seventeen rock hewn tombs at one site and two other tombs, recently identified.

Yeha temple

Yeha – The Great Temple 

The Great Temple is the best preserved ancient monument of Yeha. The 14m high temple was dedicated to the then venerated traditional god Almouqah (the sun and moon god) who was also worshipped in south Arabia. This building was constructed from volcanic-material, which was quarried some 200m east of the temple where we can still find machine-split rock pieces. Some of the building stones measure up to 3 meters and are beautifully dressed by skilled craftsmanship and perfectly fitted to each other without any trace of mortar. The temple is clear manifestation of geometrical perfection and craftsmanship. In the eastern corner of the ground floor of the temple, there is a small compartment probably used for animal sacrifice with drainage and an outlet directed to the southern wall. The temple had 12 pillars that supposed the ceiling of the single-storey building. The people responsible for the foundation of the capital and the construction of the temple were the descendants of Semitic South Arabians and the Cushitic Agews indigenous in the region long after their intermarriage had created a common identity. The area of the remains of the temple measures, 18.5m by 15m wide. It can be dated to the 7th century BC.

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