CNRS Ministère des Affaires Etrangères

Rechercher





Accueil > Research at CFEE > Research axes > Theme 2. Materialities, written cultures, and oral history

Historical Archaeology in Ethiopia : political entities, cultures, religions

Following the work carried out by the French archaeological mission for the past sixty years, this sub-axe gathers several researches on Ethiopian archaeological sites and on Ethiopian artefacts from the Antiquity (Wakarida, Kwiha) and the Middle Age (Lalibela, Ifat, steles, Kwiha) up to Modern times (icons), including the transformation and reutilisation of ancient sites for related contemporary practices (Konso). This research combines two approaches : archaeological excavations and the analysis of materials as technological processes understood via the interpretation of texts (manuscripts, epigraphic documents, archives) as well as other sources (iconography, numismatics, interviews).This project aims at retracing the history of political entities and societies that inhabited the Ethiopian territory from the Aksumite period until the end of the XVIIIth century : city-states of the Aksumite period (IInd century B.C. - IVth century A.D.), Muslim sultanates between the XIIth and the XVIth centuries, Christian kingdoms between the VIIIth and the XVIIIth centuries, and communities using steles from the XIth century up to now. This history is not a closed one.Based on the study of funerary practices, epitaphs, steles implementations, churches, mosques, and what these elements can tell us about the organisation of territory, our research focuses on the interactions between the various political entities, theChristianisation and Islamisation of Ethiopian societies, and related social and political transformations. Its goal is to highlight the material, literary, and artistic cultures of these societies and the existing interactions between them.

News

Follow the news of this sub-axe on the blog of the CFEE

Funded research programmes


- ANR EthioChrisProcess - Christianization and religious interactions in Ethiopia (6th-13th century) : comparative approaches with Nubia and Egypt

- Project ERC HornEast – Horn & Crescent. Connections, Mobility and Exchange between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East in the Middle Ages

This research program also encompasses :


-  The archaeological and ethnohistorical research project in Kwiha (Tigray), directed by Wolbert Smidt and Jean-François Breton, which started in 2014 ;

- The Wakarida mission - Archaeological and epigraphic research in the Tigray region (Ethiopia), pre-Aksumite and Aksumite periods - (VIIth century B.C. - VIIth century A.D.), directed by Iwona Gajda, initiated by Iwona Gajda and Fabienne Dugast in 2011 ;

-  The Lalibela mission - Archaeology of a rupestrian site, Christianisation and control of central Ethiopia at the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd millennia A.D., directed by Claire Bosc-Tiessé and Marie-Laure Derat since 2009 ;

-  The project regarding the analysis of technologies and materials of Ethiopian paintings directed by Claire Bosc-Tiessé ;

- The archaeological research on the Medieval Islamic urban sites of East Ethiopia (Ifat, Tchärtchär, Harar, Zayla’) directed by François-Xavier Fauvelle and Bertrand Hirsch between 2000 and 2010, whose results are currently being published ;

-  The research on the Megalithic art and sites with steles (Roger Joussaume, Anne-Lise Goujon) ;

-  The collective research conducted in the Konso area since 1998.

Bibliography (since 2016)


Benoist, A., Bernard, V., Verdellet, C. (2017). The pottery from the site of Wakarida. Meroitica, 24.

Benoist, A., Charbonnier, J., Gajda, I. (2016). Investigating the Eastern Edge of the Kingdom of Aksum : Architecture and Pottery from Wakarida. PSAS 2015, p. 25-40.

Benoist, A., Charbonnier, J., Gajda, I. (2017). Investigating the eastern edge of the Kingdom of Aksum. Architecture and pottery from Wakarida. Proceedings of the seminar for Arabian Studies, 44.

Blond, N., Jacob-Rousseau, N., Callot, Y. (2018). Terrasses alluviales et terrasses agricoles. Première approche des comblements sédimentaires et de leurs aménagements agricoles depuis 5000 av. n. è. à Wakarida (Éthiopie). Géomorphologie, 24 (3), p. 277-300.

Bosc-Tessie, C. (2017). Les églises de Lalibela et le phénomène rupestre. Dossiers d’archéologie, 379, p. 58-61.

Bosc-Tessie, C., Derat, M.-L. (2017). Lalibela, un site rupestre dans l’histoire. in Piat, J.-L. (dir.). Missions archéologiques dans les sanctuaires rupestres et les catacombes entre Orient et Occident, rencontres d’Aubeterre, 26 novembre 2011.

Derat, M.-L. (2017). Eglises et camps royaux au XVe siècle. Dossiers d’archéologie, 379, p. 66-69.

Derat, M.-L. (2017) Une vision renouvelée du Moyen-Age grâce à l’archéologie récente. Dossiers d’archéologie, 379, p. 52-54.

Derat, M.-L. (2017). Un empire chrétien en Abyssinie. Les Collections de l’Histoire, 74, p. 22-29.

Derat, M-L. (2018). L’Ethiopie chrétienne et islamique. in Fauvelle, F.-X., (ed.) L’Afrique ancienne. De l’Acacus au Zimbabwe. 20000 avant notre ère – XVIIe siècle (p. 255-285), Paris, France : Belin.

Deresse Ayenachew (2017) Les cités musulmanes du Moyen-Age. Dossiers d’archéologie, 379, p. 62-65.

Fauvelle, F.-X. (ed.) (2018). L’Afrique ancienne. De l’Acacus au Zimbabwe. 20000 avant notre ère – XVIIe siècle. Paris, France : Belin.

Fauvelle, F.-X., Hirsch, B., Chekroun, A. (2017). Le sultanat de l’Ifât, sa capitale et la nécropole des Wâlâsma : quinze années d’enquêtes archéologiques et historiques sur l’Islam médiéval éthiopien. Annales islamologiques, 51, p. 239-295.

Ficquet, E. (2017). Reliques, archéologie et identité nationale. Dossiers d’archéologie, 379, p. 50-51.

Gajda, I., Benoist, A., Charbonnier, J., Antonini, S., Peixoto, X., Verdellet, C., Barge, O., Regagnon, E., Callot, Y. (2017). Wakarida. Un site axoumite à l’est du Tigray. Fouilles et Prospections 2011-2014. Rassegna di studi Etiopici, 5.

Gajda, I., Benoist, A., Charbonnier, J., Antonini, S., Peixoto, X., Verdellet, C., Bernard, V., Barge, O., Régagnon, E., Callot, Y. (2016). Wakarida, un site aksumite à l’est du Tigray : fouilles et prospections 2011-2014. Annales d’Éthiopie, 30, p. 177-224.

Gleize, Y., Bosc-Tiessé, C., Derat, M.-L., Rouzic, M., Sève, S., Ziegler, L., Goujon, A.-L., Mensan, R., Bernard, R. (2016). Le cimetière médiéval de Qedemt (Lālibalā) : données préliminaires issues des campagnes 2010 et 2012. Annales d’Éthiopie, 30, p. 225-260.

Joussaume, R., Cros, J.-P. (2017). Mégalithes d’hier et d’aujourd’hui en Éthiopie. Arles, France : Errance, Les Hespérides.