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Tiya Monuments

Tiya is a megalithic site located at about 80km south of Addis Ababa in soddo area on the road to Butajira. The site lies in a barren and neglected field that contains a number of standing monuments, which are believed to have been erected for commemorative purposes. Tiya monuments have been revealed in a series of excavation conducted by the French archaeologists between 1980 and 1990 The monuments are supposed to be remains of medieval Ethiopian culture apparently dated from the 12 th to 14 th centuries.However, the local people claimed that they were the grave markers of the soldiers of Ahmed Gragn, dating the site to the 16 th century. The Tiya monuments belong to one of some 160 megalithic sites in the soddo region.There are more than 45 standing monuments in Tiya. Few of them were removed from the site and can be seen in the main campus of Addis Ababa University, erected near the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES). Most of Tiya monuments measure a height between a meter and 3 meters though the largest one is about five meter, including its section underground.The Tiya grave-markers are decorated with carvings of various representations. The meanings of the symbolic decorations are still open to speculations for various scholars. The major carved designs of the monuments are the swords, a kind of plants or carvings of leaves below the sword, carved circles, a carving like the letter ‘M’ on its side and the carving like the letter ‘X’ with slightly carved lines

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