Lost Ancient Town of the Axum Empire Discovered in Ethiopia


Archaeologists have found the ancient city of the lost empire of Axum recently. According to a magazine of the archaeologists who had been digging the area for five years, the city is called ‘Bete Samati.’ also they revealed that it was the central city of Axumite Civilization for 1,400 years.


The Axumite Empire was one of the ancient empires established in the first century BC and dominated East Africa for about 800 years. Even though it is not the most famous empire in the history of the world, it was mentioned among the great empires at the time. Some historians grouped the realm along with Roman, Persian, and China, which were the great powers of the world.


The city of Axum, now located in the Tigray region, was the center of the Kingdom of Axum. The Kingdom was located in the modern-day space between the north Ethiopian border and Eritrea. Axum was the key player for the trade route between the Roman empire and ancient India, having its Axumite currency.


Group of scientists from Ethiopia, the US, German, Libanon, Canada, and England have been making studies in the area since 2010. The US-based Johns Hopkins University facilitated the research. The group revealed that the Aksumite empire had used the city Bete Samati as a center for trade and international relations using the Red Sea.


Moreover, the newly discovered ‘lost’ city is located near the Central Zone of the Tigray region. According to scientists, the farmers near the area used to find different types of materials.


With excavations made from 2011 to 2015 in two places, they found the remains of buildings and houses used for meeting and residence purposes. Beta Samati means the ‘House of Audience’ in Tigrigna Language. According to the magazine, the place was ‘home to temples built in the southern Arabian style.’


Furthermore, the Archaeologists discovered an old Christian church in Bete Samati. The church is considered the ‘earliest known church in Sub-Saharan Africa.’ The church is an ancient basilica which is believed to be built around 300 BC when the first Roman emperor Constantine legalized Christianity.


In Ethiopia, traditionally known that Christianity came for the first time in Axum in the 4th century when a Greek Christian missionary converted King Ezana.


Bete Semati will be the new historical exhibit of the Axum Empire next to the town of Yeha.