Current World Archaeology – Issue 72: Louise Schofield recalls how a passing mention of a carved stele led to an archaeological adventure, an ancient battlefield, Roman trade goods, and the 2,000-year-old grave of Ethiopia's 'Sleeping Beauty'. Read Article in full (PDF)
On Wednesday 15 April, an experienced archaeological team including experts in Axumite ceramics, human bones and ancient metallurgy are flying out to Ethiopia to undertake the next stage in the creation of the park – planning on further excavations in the cemetery and beginning excavations on the Palace Terrace and Industrial Zone. This season's excavations at Maryam Anza have been funded by a very generous grant from the Headley Trust, and a donation from Tom and Annette Joyce.
Louise Schofield (Director of the Tigray Trust) gave a presentation on the recent spectacular discoveries at Maryam Anza at the Ethiopian Embassy, hosted and introduced by the Ethiopian ambassador to Britain, Berhanu Kebede.
The Tigray Trust took its first steps towards the creation of its archaeological and environmental park at Maryam Anza. With generous donations, including a grant from the Headley Trust, a bequest from Ruth Robinson, who was an internationally renowned jeweller and a great friend to the Tigray Trust and support from Silvio and Enrica Rizzotti owners of the nearby Gheralta Lodge.
A team of experienced field archaeologists undertook field survey, geophysical survey and a rescue excavation in the area around the Maryam Anza church. Exciting discoveries made in this first season included a Palace Terrace, an industrial zone, settlement areas, a battlefield and two cemeteries. Rescue excavation in the cemetery uncovered rock hewn tombs containing skeletons accompanied by rich and exotic grave goods which are now in the Wuckrow museum and will be on display when it opens in October 2015.
Fundraising Event 2013
Our last event - held in the Crypt on the Green, Clerkenwell on the 12th September 2013 - starred the wonderful Miss Hope Springs, Rula Lenska and the Bees Knees.
Our thanks to the many of you who have so generously of your time and expertise and to those who came to the party, sent donations and bought raffle tickets.
All funds raised will go towards buying bees and trees for the people of Maikado.
Please watch this space for our next event in 2014.
The Tigray Trust supports village communities in Tigray, Ethiopia.
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Postcard from Hawzien, courtesy of Ben Morse
Article published in The Observer, Sunday 12 February 2012 - A British excavation has struck archaeological gold with a discovery that may solve the mystery of where the Queen of Sheba derived her fabled treasures.
Read more: www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/12/archaeologists-and-quest-for-sheba-goldmines
2011 was a busy and exciting year for the Tigray Trust and for the villagers of Maikado. An extremely successful fundraising event in April and several very generous donations enabled us to expand our project area. We are now supporting over 1,000 farms — home to approximately 10,000 people.
Janet Slee — Chairman of the Tigray Trust — and Louise Schofield — its Director — have recently returned from Ethiopia. They have been implementing the ongoing food security and water supply projects.
- Water supply: We have an ongoing water supply project mending broken hand-pumps and building substantial structures to harness spring water where available. These are fitted with taps for the use of the villagers thus ensuring a supply of clean fresh drinking water - and spring-fed cattle troughs for their livestock.
- Reforestation: The Tigray Trust is engaged in a reforestation project in Maikado — buying high-value cash-crop fruit trees for the villagers. The Trust originally provided each of the farms with a small orchard of local fruit trees — papaya, guava and turungo (a local citrus). We have now embarked on a rolling program of even higher-value specially grafted trees — including orange, avocado, mango and coffee.
- Chickens: Our initial 200 farms were all given a flock of Rhode Island Red chickens. Interbreeding between these and native Ethiopian ones has produced a strong, happy, healthy hybrid that lays lots of eggs. Nutrition for the families has improved markedly and surplus eggs and chicks are sold and exchanged at market for other items that the people need. Our additional 800 or so farms were bought chickens in December.
- Beehives: Many of our farms have now been given beehives with all the necessary accessories and have had training in how to use them. Our Maikado bees are now producing top-quality honey which is sold in the local market.
- Emergency Drought-relief: The Tigray Trust monitors the level of drought at the beginning of each rainy season and provides the farmers with replacement grain — tef, barley and maize — if the harvest fails.
Many thanks for your continuing support!
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