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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Zagwe period and the zenith of urban culture in Ethiopia, ca. 930-1270 AD
Author:Negash, TekesteISNI
Periodical:Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:Zagwe polity
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40761842
Abstract:The history of Ethiopia from the decline of Aksum until the early 16th century is commonly divided into three periods. The first period begins with the Arab occupation of the Aksumite port of Adulis c. AD 640 and ends with the establishment of the Zagwe dynasty in the late 10th century or, according to other sources, the middle of the 12th century. The second period is the history of the Zagwe dynasty proper, and the third begins with what is known as the 'restored Solomonic dynasty' dated to about 1270. The Zagwe period is by far the least studied. This paper emphasizes the need for archaeological research on the post-Aksumite period in general, and on the two centuries preceding the construction of the Lalibela rock churches in particular. It argues that the architectural achievements of the Zagwe rulers were a result of a long period of political and social stability as well as a mature expression of the Aksumite heritage. The paper further argues that the post AD 1270 period needs to be seen rather as a decline than a resurgence of urbanism and urban culture. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]