Foundations of an African Civilisation

Aksum and the northern Horn, 1000 BC - AD 1300

David W. Phillipson

A single coherent narrative of Aksumite civilisation revealing the roots of medieval Christian Ethiopia.
Date Published :
April 2014
Publisher :
Boydell and Brewer
Series :
Eastern Africa Series
Illustration :
52 b/w. 35 line.
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781847010889
Pages : 304
Dimensions : 8.5 X 5.5 inches
Stock Status : Available


This well-illustrated book provides an up-to-date survey of a key period in the history of northern Ethiopia and south-central Eritrea. It is accessible to the general reader, but its comprehensive references and guidance to controversies and research needs will render it invaluable to specialists and students. It considers how the region's literate communities arose and flourished during the last millennium BC, giving rise to the Aksumite civilisation whose achievements and intercontinental significance are increasingly recognised, and which formed an integral but often neglected component of the Christian world in Late Antiquity. Aksum is now seen as the ancestor of the region'smedieval Christian kingdom whose churches and associated art continue to attract many visitors to Ethiopia.

David W. Phillipson is Emeritus Professor of African Archaeology and former Director of the University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge. In 2014 he was made an Associate Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences.

Published in association with the British Institute in Eastern Africa.

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa University Press


Introduction - Part I Before Aksum
The northern Horn 3000 years ago
The first millennium BC - Part II The Kingdom of Aksum
Aksumite civilisation: an introductory summary
Aksumite languages & literacy
Some written sources relating to Aksumite civilisation
The emergence & expansion of the Aksumite state
Aksumite kingship & politics
Aksumite religion
Cultivation & herding, food & drink
Urbanism, architecture & non-funerary monuments
Aksumite burials
Aksumite technology & material culture
Aksumite coinage
Foreign contacts of the Aksumite state
Decline & transformation of the Aksumite state - Part III After Aksum
The Zagwe Dynasty - Part IV Epilogue
The future of the past in the northern Horn

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