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Ethiopian architecture


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C5 and C4 bc stone-built temples in the Melazo region and in Yeha, and the large Ta'aka Maryam palace, Aksum (c.C1 bc–ad C5—with a central pavilion on a high podium approached by monumental stairs surrounded by ranges of subsidiary buildings on all four sides), have been excavated. The city of Aksum also possessed large necropoleis, with many granite stelai. From c.C10 to C15 or later, rock-cut churches were created, and hundreds survive, the most sophisticated of which are freestanding monoliths (e.g. the church of Beta Giyorgis, with a Greek-cross plan, crosses in relief on its flat roof, and some ogee-headed windows, the whole set in a deep pit). Such buildings are sometimes called Coptic.

Jane Turner (1996)

Subjects: Architecture.


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