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Sprawling, dusty, and rural – Aksum is modest almost to a fault. Initially, it’s hard to imagine that it was ever the site of a great civilisation. Yet Aksum is one of Ethiopia’s stars. Littered with massive teetering stelae, ruined palaces, underground tombs (most undiscovered) and inscriptions rivalling the Rosetta Stone itself, the town once formed part of the Aksumite kingdom described as ‘the last of the great civilisations of Antiquity to be revealed to modern knowledge’. It’s undoubtedly one of sub-Saharan African`s most important and spectacular ancient sites, and Unesco lists Aksum as a World Heritage site.
The Great Stele of AxumThe Axum stelae fieldSt Mary of Zion ChurchCathedral of St Mary of ZionSt Mary of Zion ChurchAbandoned steleAbandoned steleUndecorated steleSmaller steleBroken steleThe Chapel of the TabletPriest and assistantCollection of CrownsStelae areaAirport sign