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The pre-Aksumite Period in Eastern Tigrai: The Chronology and Stratigraphy of the Site of Mezber

Author(s): Lynn Welton

Year: 2017

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The current understanding of the pre-Aksumite period of northern Ethiopia has been heavily influenced by data originating from sites in western Tigrai, particularly those in the area of Aksum. The Eastern Tigrai Archaeological Project (ETAP), however, has also documented substantial evidence for pre-Aksumite settlement further to the east, through both survey and excavation. This paper will summarize ETAP’s efforts to understand the pre-Aksumite period in eastern Tigrai at the site of Mezber, a small rural centre of just under 1 ha in size. Although the site was likely in use as early as 1600 BCE, there are two major pre-Aksumite periods of construction and occupation at the site, the first dating to between 850-750 BCE, and the second from approximately the 6th-1st centuries BCE. There is also evidence of limited post-occupational use of the site around the 8th century CE. By focusing on deep soundings excavated in Areas A and C at Mezber, this paper will examine the long-term history of occupation at the site and the contributions it makes to the understanding of the indigenous development and continuity of social complexity in the Horn of Africa.

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The pre-Aksumite Period in Eastern Tigrai: The Chronology and Stratigraphy of the Site of Mezber. Lynn Welton. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430978)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14900

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America