Tour code: EUT AD/21
Tour area: Adadi Maryam and Tiya
Transportation FWD, mini Van, minibus, coaster bus, Bus
Tour duration: Day Tour
The Adadi Maryam (also known as Anfar Debre Maryam) church is one of the most historically
significant churches in Ethiopia. It is known as ‘the southern most rock-hewn church’ in the country and believed to have been built during the reign of Emperor Lalibela (the 1180s to 1220s). The church was abandoned from the time of Ahmed Grañ (16th c.), up until it was accidentally rediscovered during Emperor Menelik II’s reign.The church is located in the village of Adadi, about 68km (42 miles) southwest of Addis Ababa. About 5.5km (3.4mi) south of Awash River, off the Arba Minch Highway (H9), a 13km (8mi)along gravel road leads westwards directly to the church, and it forms tiny roundabout nearby the church entrance.
Tiya is among the most important of the roughly 160 archaeological sites discovered so far in the Soddo region, south of Addis Ababa. The site contains 36 monuments, including 32 carved Stella covered with symbols, most of which are difficult to decipher. They are the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture whose age has not yet been precisely determined.The Stella from the Soddo region, with their enigmatic configuration, are highly representative of an expression of the Ethiopian megalithic period. Soddo lies to the south of Addis Ababa, beyond the Aouache river. It is remarkable because of the numerous archaeological sites of the megalithic period, comprising hundreds of sculptured Stella, that have been discovered there. The carved monoliths vary in size from 1 m to 5 m. Their forms fall into several distinct categories: figurative composition; anthropomorphic; hemispherical or conical; simple monoliths. In the northern area are to be found Stella with depictions of swords, associated with enigmatic symbols and schematic human figures.Among the most important of the roughly 160 archaeological sites discovered so far in the Soddo region is Tiya, lying 38 km south of the river, which is also one of the most representative. Roughly aligned over an axis of 45 m there is a group of 33 Stella, with another group of three Stella a short distance from them. Of the 36 Stella at Tiya, 32 are sculpted with vaguely representational
configurations (including the sword designs), which are for the most part difficult to decipher. One depicts the outline of a human figure in low relief.They are the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture the age of which has not yet been precisely determined. However, they have been interpreted as having a funerary significance, as there are tombs scattered around the Stella.