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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Axum::Ancient City in Ethiopia_Part_1

Axum or Aksum (Tigrinya:- አኽሱም ˈaĥsum, Amharic:- አክሱም ˈaksum) is a city in northern Ethiopia that was the original capital of the kingdom of Axum. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Africa. It has a population of 56,500 (2010) and is governed as an urban woreda. Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from about 400 BC into the 10th century. The kingdom was also arbitrarily identified as Abyssinia, Ethiopia, and India in medieval writings. In 1980 UNESCO added Aksum's archaeological sites to its list of World Heritage Sites due to their historic value.
Located in the Mehakelegnaw Zone of the Tigray Region near the base of the Adwa mountains, Axum has an elevation of 2,131 meters (6,991 feet). Axum is surrounded by La'ilay Maychew woreda.
It is served by Axum Airport (ICAO code HAAX, IATA AXU).

 HistoryFor more details on the early history of Axum, see Kingdom of Aksum.
Axum was the center of the marine trading power known as the Aksumite Kingdom, which predated the earliest mentions in Roman era writings. Around 356, its ruler was converted to Christianity by Frumentius. Later, under the reign of Kaleb, Axum was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the Persian Empire. The historical record is unclear, with ancient church records the primary contemporary sources.
It is believed it began a long slow decline after the 7th century due partly to the Persians (Zoroastrian) and finally the Arabs contesting old Red sea trade routes. Eventually Aksum was cut off from its principal markets in Alexandria, Byzantium and Southern Europe and its trade share was captured by Arab traders of the era. The Kingdom of Aksum was finally destroyed by Gudit, and eventually some of the people of Aksum were forced south and their civilization declined. As the kingdom's power declined so did the influence of the city, which is believed to have lost population in the decline, similar to Rome and other cities thrust away from the flow of world events. The last known (nominal) king to reign was crowned in about the 10th century, but the kingdom's influence and power ended long before that.
Its decline in population and trade then contributed to the shift of the power center of the Ethiopian Empire south to the Agaw region as it moved further inland. The city of axum was actually an emoire spanning 1 million square miles. Eventually, the alternative name (Ethiopia) was adopted by the central region, and subsequently, the present modern state


Near East in 565, showing the kingdom of Aksum and its neighbors

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