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Malka Kunture, Adada Mariam and Tiya

Morning after breakfast we head to south-west on the Jimma road, before turning due south on to the Butajira Road.  Melka Kunture lies near the Awash River Gorge and is one of the most important Neolithic sites in Ethiopia.  Hand axes and various other implements have been found here.  There is a museum at the site.

Further drive on the Butajira Road turn to right after 8km there is rock hewn church of Adadi Mariam, contemporaneous with those of Lalibela - in fact local tradition ascribes it to King Lalibela who is said to have had it built on his visit to Mount Ziquala. 
Our final stop today is at Tiya, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, where we can see the northernmost example of a peculiar type of engraved, standing stelae which stretch across parts of southern Ethiopia.  These stelae are believed to have been erected between the 12th and 14th centuries and are almost certainly grave markers - recent excavations at Tiya have revealed the remains of young people of both sexes, aged between 18 to 30 years old buried in foetal positions.


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