Africa: Processed stones / Aksumite Empire

PHOTO: 14 7'54.05" 3843'11.74"

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The Aksumite Empire or Axumite Empire, was an important trading nation in northeastern Africa, growing from the proto-Aksumite period ca. 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD. Its ancient capital is found in northern Ethiopia. The Kingdom used the name "Ethiopia" as early as the 4th century. It is also the alleged resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and the purported home of the Queen of Sheba. Aksum was also the first major empire to convert to Christianity. Aksum is mentioned in the 1st century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as an important market place for ivory, which was exported throughout the ancient world, and states that the ruler of Aksum in the 1st century AD was Zoscales, who, besides ruling in Aksum also controlled two harbours on the Red Sea: Adulis (near Massawa) and Avalites (Assab), which lie in land today called Eritrea. He is also said to have been familiar with Greek literature.