In the north, Axum is well known for its huge stelae. However, other sites with more modest and less well-carved stelae are present in various sites around Ethiopia. We visited two of these sites.
The Tuto Fela site contains 217 stelae. Some of them have been carved with interesting patterns. A stela marks the place where the members of the same family were buried.
It is fairly certain that the most beautiful stelae were raised for the richest people or members of the upper class (government, merchant, for example).
Our arrival didn't go unnoticed. A few minutes after stopping, it seems that all the village's children came to watch us.
At the Chelba Tutiti site, stelae are not carved with patterns. However, many of them are bigger than those at Tuto Fela. Even though they are not all visible, the site contains more than 2000 stelae. There is very little certainty about the origin of these monoliths. The people living in the region have no oral tradition about the stelae. They could have been built by two different civilizations; at the 8th and 11th centuries.
On the following two photos, you may observe that a few stelae are very tall. The stelae are made from one piece of rock; imagine the work needed to carry a stela of a few metres.
The small Ziway Lake covers 424 km2 and has a maximum depth of 4 metres. It is a nice site for observing birds.
The Hare Shatan Crater means 'Place of the Devil' in the local Silti language. The site is very nice, and the children were friendly.
Adadi Maryam is the first rock-hewn church that we have visited in Ethiopia. This old building is from the 12th or 13th century and is formed from a monolithic rock (hewn from a single piece of rock). The structure has been hewn on three sides; on the photo, one can see that a side is embedded with the original rock.
There is really a church hidden under all this grass.
A few images of the Ethiopian countryside.