The great pyramids at Giza, EgyptElephants crossing the Zambezi river in Mana Pools National Park world heritage site, ZimbabweThe great mosque in the Old Towns of Djenne world heritage site, MaliBlack and white ruffed lemur, Rainforests of the Atsinanana world heritage site, Madagascar

Tiya - Ethiopia

Map showing the location of the stone stelae of Tiya world heritage site in Ethiopia

Website CategoryRock-art and Pre-history  

Area: unknown

Inscribed: 1980

Criteria: (i) creative masterpiece (iv) icon of an era

Location and Values:  Tiya is located in the Ethiopian highlands, about 70 km south of Addis Ababa.  It is a place shrouded in mystery, where 36 stone stelae – considered to be representative of similar stelae found elsewhere in the region – stand to attention in an area where tombs are also found. They are assumed to have some kind of funerary significance, but their age and origin is unknown. Most of the stelae, which stand 1-5 m high, are carved with symbols, including depictions of swords and schematic human figures. 

Slideshow of Tiya:  The slideshow features a series of photos provided by Bridget Goldsmith and David Trump.  They provide an overview of the site and details of some of the best carvings.  As can be seen from the pictures, most of the stelae are arranged along a common axis, with one small outlying group. 

Google Earth View:  To view satellite imagery of Tiya on Google Earth, click here. This opens a new window, so when you are finished, just close the Google Earth page and you will be straight back here to continue browsing.  Unfortunately, the image quality is not very good and the stelae are difficult to make out.

Links to other places in the rock-art and pre-history category:  Tassili n’Ajjer  I  Tsodilo  I  Stone Circles  I  Tadrart Acacus  I  Chongoni  I  Twyfelfontein  I  Drakensberg  I  Kondoa

Other LinksOfficial UNESCO Site Details

The main group of stone stelae at Tiya world heritage site, EthiopiaDetail of some of the engraved symbols on one of the stone stelae at Tiya world heritage site, EthiopiaEngraved symbols on one of the most distinctive stone stelae at Tiya world heritage site, EthiopiaEngraved symbols on one of the stone stelae at Tiya world heritage site, Ethiopia



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