Ethiopian History  |  Demographic  |  Geographic

Ethiopian History

Ethiopia, one of  the oldest nation in the world, was already a great power when recorded history began. Ethiopia was referred to by early writers as Kush, Kushy, Aitopia, Aithopis and until more recently as Abyssinia. The name   Ethiopia  comes  from  two Greek words meaning sunburned faces, and clearly refers to the brown skin of the natives.

Ethiopia was first settled in prehistoric times by the sons of Ham;  it is generally believed to have began about 3000 B.C.  and  the   Semitic  immigrations followed some 2,000 years later in the millennium through the Arabian peninsula about 1000 B.C.

A basic  legend  of  Ethiopian  history   consecrates  this  venerable antiquity by making the Queen of Sheba, whose visit to  Solomon is recorded   in the  Book of Kings, a Queen  of Ethiopia   and  the  mother of   Minilik   I,   first    ruler of  the solomonic  line of  Ethiopian Emperors.

The Rift valley which runs north-south and separates the Central  Plateau on the west from the Danakil  Plains, and  Eastern  Plateau  on  the  east  and  the   trough  of  the  Red  Sea with Lake Rudolf is the best known sites in the world  that boasts the origins of humankind. Lucy,  the  most  complete  and  best  presented   human  ancestor ever found, aged at 3.2 million years old, was   discovered  in  the  Afar region of Eastern Ethiopia. The 4.4 million year old Ramidus found in the central Afar region and the 2.5   million-year-old  tools  and  artifacts  are  further   testimonies  to Ethiopia' immense historical wealth.

As  the   cradle  of  mankind, Ethiopia   has the  technological  remains  of  the often painful development of humanity engraved in its landscape. Through their efforts in  adapting to the fragile  mountainous   environment,  Ethiopians  invented  the  first  stone technologies  and, interactively  with  other  societies, have since  then been in search  of  new  and  adaptable  innovations. Many of  the old  and  new technologies of adaptation are  in  use  side by side. The synthesis of  old  and new, sustainable and less sustainable systems, mark  the  modern  society  of  Ethiopia  as  a  mosaic of  cultures  in  its  long  recorded  history and  unfolding prehistory.


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