Eritrea has the second-highest density of ancient archaeological sites in Africa after the Nile Valley. There are about 2000 identified archaeological sites, and still many more remain to be discovered and excavated. Among these are the archaeological sites of the ancient port city of adulis, Qohaito Archeological Site, Keskese, Tekhonda’e (or Toconda), and Metera.
Qohaito is located in the Debub region of southern Eritrea and has an altitude of 2,500 meters. The archaeological site of Qohaito is about 2.5 kilometres wide and 15 kilometres long. Qohaito was a significant city in ancient Africa. It is estimated that the city was founded around the fifth millennium BC (5000 BC to 4001 BC) and kept developing until the 6th century A.D.
The ancient city of Qohaito is believed to have a large number of archaeological objects hidden in its ground. About 80 to 90% of the site remains to be excavated. The patches of cultivated land between the buildings suggest that Qohaito was a garden city. Its altitude, pleasant weather, and building style suggest that Qohaito was home to some rich merchants. At some point, as a stop on the trade route between Adulis and Aksum. Some may, at some point in history, tourists,’ and archaeological attractions in and around Qohaito are.
Pre-Christian Temple of Mariam Wakino
The ruined pre-Christian temple of Mariam Wakino of Qohaito archaeological sites has some of its pillars intact. The building provides insights into religious beliefs, architectural style, and people’s skilful use of tools and materials for building such a beautiful and robust structure. The people there call this temple ‘abode of the prestigious one.’ it is not the only temple in Qohaito; there are also many other ancient pillars and ruined temples throughout the site.
Rock art in the Adi Alauti cave
Rock art in the Adi Alauti cave is one of the world’s most famous and most important ancient rock art. The cave has nearly 100 paintings of cattle, antelopes, and lions. The art shows early humans’ interests in aesthetics and their skills in drawing and painting.
The evidence suggests that the paintings are from the fifth millennium (5000) B.C. These paintings have become a symbol of early human beings’ cultural development and learning.
There is also a tomb entrance about 1 kilometre north of the Temple of Mariam. The tomb itself is underground, with a small entry point above the ground. With its impressive size and majestic construction, the tomb is known as ‘Meqabir Ghibtsi’. It was built with large blocks of stones. Two flower-shaped crosses are carved on the inside walls of the tomb.
Visit Eritrea. Shapira Dam is almost one thousand years old. The dam is 67 m long and 16 m deep, and it is still functional and fulfils the water requirements of the Saho people of the region. One of the inner walls of the dam has an inscription of 79 words in the ancient Ge’ez language.
Mount Ambasoira – The Highest Peak in Eritrea
Mount Ambasoira is Eritrea’s highest peak, with a height of 3,018 m. You can view it just after a short walk from Qohaito archaeological site. And other surrounding mountains with their stunning view enchant the visitors.
Matara Archeological Site
Matara Eritrea is another very famous archaeological site in the Debub region of Eritrea. Situated a few kilometres south of Senafe, it was a major city in the Dʿmt and Aksumite kingdoms. Its excavated sites include Hawulti obelisk or Matara’s (Metera) Monolith Stele and ruins of a palace.