Melka Kunture,Adadi Mariam, Tiya and Medre Kebd

Duration: 1 Day

Melka Kunture is the most accessible of Ethiopia’s famous Neolithic sites. You leave Addis Ababa in the morning, driving southwest on the Jimma road. At the village of Alem Gena, some 1 7 km out of the capital, you turn south, and some 50 km from Addis Ababa you arrive at the Awash River; very close by is Melka Kunture, in a cliff on the bank of the river, surrounded by charming farms and pasture lands. Here, in 1965, a team of archaeologists and paleontologists excavated a Neolithic site, unearthing an assortment of stone tools nearly two million years old.
From Melka Kunture, you continue 5 km south of the Awash River, then turn off on a small road leading westwards. After 12 km you come to the village of Adadi, where you will see the amazing 13th century church of Adadi Mariam. The area of Lalibela, far in the north of Ethiopia, is famous for its rock-hewn churches; Adadi Mariam is one of the few rock-hewn churches in this part of the country. Stone steps descend into the subterranean cave¬ like structure excavated from the living rock, its roof level with the surrounding ground. Within the church there are icons, ancient manuscripts and other priceless religious relics.
You then drive back to the main road and continue southwards for 23 km to the village of Tiya. Close by is a field full of stone slabs, some fallen but many still standing, with engravings, mostly of swords, which continue to baffle archaeologists. Tiya is one of the seven most important historic sites in the country and as such it is partially administered by UNESCO which provided funds for fencing the area.
From Tiya you drive northeastwards for 19 km to visit the monas¬tery of M’edre Kebd Abbo. This was established in the 13th century by the same holy man, Abbo, who founded the monastery on the rim of Mt Zuquala .
You then return to Tiya and then back to Addis Ababa.
• Seasons and conditions:- whole time available throughout the year

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