Registered in 1980 the city of Aksum came in to existence around 300 B.C. it took its name from its capital Aksum, and occupied a stretch of northern Ethiopia, with Adulis as its principal port. As the capital of a state that traded with ancient Greece, Egypt and Asia. With its navies sailing as far afield as Ceylon, Aksum later became the most important power between the Roman Empire and Persia and for a while, controlled parts of South Arabia.
They also used coins of gold, silver and copper, which were first produced by the kings of Aksum around 250 A.D.

Aksum, the extensive ruins of which can still be seen, was an important city. Its buildings included impressive stone palaces and temples. Its ruler put up the famous obelisks, or stelae, which were beautifully cut of single pieces of stone. They left stone inscriptions, written in Ge’ez (classic Ethiopian), Sabean (language of South Arabia) and Greek, describing the military campaigns of the time.

They suggest that it was from Aksum that Makeda, the fabled Queen of Sheba, journeyed to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem. Legend has it that a son was born to the Queen from her union with Solomon. This son, Menelik I, grew up in Ethiopia but travelled to Jerusalem as a young man. There he spent several years before coming back to his own country with the fabled Ark of the Covenant. The Ark, according to Ethiopian belief, has remained in Aksum ever since.

By digging on the sites of Aksumite towns and cities and by examining the old inscriptions it has been possible to unearth a wealth of information about this great civilization of ancient times and to gain a fair understanding of the way of life of its people. Many of the treasures unearthed are to be seen in the National Museum and in the museum at Aksum.

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