Discovering the Ancient tombs of Axum

Little more than a relaxed county town, Axum’s (Also spelt Aksum) main claim to fame is a remarkable collection of ancient stellae and tombs (discovered and undiscovered) from the 10th Century BC to the 5th Century AD.

The real attraction of Axum is as much in the imagination as in the spectacle itself. Axum holds an (unproven) claim to the 10th Century BC home of the famed Queen of Sheba (mentioned prominently in legends of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and also claims to host the lost Arc of the Covenant (allegedly hidden away from view in the church of St Mary of Zion. 

For over 1000 years, Axum played host to one of the most advanced civilisations in the world and much of its treasures and history still lays hidden and undiscovered under the stellae fields. 

Axum has a poor collection of hotels, of which the government owned Yeha stands out for its position (but little else) and the Briana for clean, modern rooms. Axum is definitely worth a visit for those interested in history and culture, but if you are short of time (and / or stamina for historic sites) then Lalibela and Gondar make stronger claims for your attention.


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