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The Kingdom of አክሱም-Aksum: The አፁሚተ – Axumite Empire of Ethiopia and Eritrea’s Horn of Africa..

Posted in Aksum, Axum, Cushitic, Egypt, Eritrea, Erythraean Sea, Ethiopia, Habeshas, Horn of Africa, Indigenous people, L2a1, Levant, Nilo Saharan, North Africa, Nubians, Oman mtDna, Sahara, Saudi Arabia mtDna, Semetic People, Sudan, Supra-Sahara, The Axumite Kingdom, The Sahel, Yemen mtDna with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2009 by Biléh* Gambéla በላይ ። ጋምበላ🇺🇸🇸🇩🇨🇻



Kings of Axum

The Axumite Empire or Aksumite Empire

(The Kingdom of Axum or Aksum), (Ge’ez: አክሱም),

Important trading Nation in North-Eastern Africa,

Growing from the proto-Aksumite period ca.

Aksumite Empire Map

4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD.

Its Ancient Capital is found in Northern Ethiopia.

The Kingdom used the name “Ethiopia” as early as the 4th century.

It is also the alleged resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and the purported home of the Queen of Sheba.

Aksum was also the first major empire to convert to Christianity.

Aksum is mentioned in the 1st century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as an important market place for “Ivory”,

which was exported throughout the ancient world, and states that the ruler of Aksum in the 1st century AD was “Zoscales”

Who, besides ruling in Aksum also controlled two harbours on the Red Sea:

Adulis (near Massawa) and Avalites (Assab) located in Eritrea. He is also said to have been familiar with Greek literature.

Axum data mapThe Kingdom of Aksum was ideally located to take advantage of the new trading situation.

Adulis soon became the main port for the export of “African goods”, such as Ivory, Incense, Gold, and Exotic animals.

In order to supply such goods the kings of Aksum worked to develop and expand an inland trading network.

A rival, and much older trading network that tapped the same interior region of Africa was that of the “Kingdom of Kush”,

which had long supplied “Egypt” with African goods via the “Nile” corridor.

By the 1st century AD, however, Aksum had gained control over territory previously “Kushite”.

The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea explicitly describes how ivory collected in

Kushite territory was being exported through the port of “Adulis” instead of being taken to Meroë, the capital of “Kush”.

During the 2nd and 3rd centuries the Kingdom of Aksum continued to expand their control of the southern Red Sea basin.

A caravan route to “Egypt” was established which bypassed the Nile corridor entirely…

Aksum succeeded in becoming the principal supplier of African goods to the Roman Empire, not least as a result of the transformed

Indian Ocean trading system.

Aksum was previously thought to have been founded by Semitic-speaking Sabaeans who crossed the Red Sea from South Arabia (modern Yemen) on the basis of Conti Rossini’s theories and prolific work on Ethiopian history, but most scholars now agree that it was an “indigenous” development…

Scholars like Stuart Munro-Hay point to the existence of an older D’mt or Da’amot kingdom, prior to any Sabaean migration ca. 4th or 5th c. BC, as well as to evidence of Sabaean immigrants having resided in the region for little more than a few decades.

Furthermore, Ge’ez, the ancient Semitic language of Eritrea and Ethiopia,  is now known,  Not to have derived from Sabaean,

and there is evidence of a Semitic speaking presence in Ethiopia and Eritrea at least as early as 2000 BC.

Axumite Erythraen Sea Map 1st century C.E.


The Axumite አፁሚተ population consisted of Semitic-speaking people (collectively known as Habeshas), people of Ethiopia and Eritrea

And they are also Cushitic-speaking people, and Nilo-Saharan-speaking people (the Kunama and Nara).

Habesha Women


The Axsumite Kings had the official title  ነገሠ ፡ ነገሠተ ngś ngśtKing of Kings (later vocalization Ge’ez ንጉሠ ፡ ነገሥት nigūśa nagaśt,

Modern Ethiosemitic nigūse negest).

Aksumites did own slaves, and a modified feudal system was in place to farm the land.

The Empire of Axsum:

at its height extended across most of presentday

Eritrea, Northern EthiopiaYemen, Southern Saudi Arabia and Northern Sudan.


The capital city of the Empire was Aksum, now in Northern Ethiopia.

Today a smaller community, the city of Aksum was once a bustling metropolis, cultural and economic center.

Two hills and two streams lie on the east and west expanses of the city; perhaps providing the initial impetus for settling this area.

Along the hills and plain outside the city,

The Aksumites had cemeteries with elaborate “grave stones” called “stelae, or obelisks”.

Axumite Obelisk


Other important cities included Yeha, Hawulti, Matara, Adulis, and Qohaito, the last three of which are now in Eritrea.


In the 3rd century, Aksum began interfering in South Arabian affairs, controlling at times the westerTihama region among other areas.

By the  late 3rd century it had begun Minting its own “currency” and was named by Mani as one of the four great powers of his time along with Persia, Rome, and China.

Coinage of King Endubis of Axumite Ethiopia227-235CE


Endubis (c.270 – c.300) was a King of Axum.

He was among the earliest rulers of Axum, and Africa for that matter, (he was also, the very first King) tomint coins”.

These coins were issued in Gold and Silver...

On the coins of Endubis so far recovered, either of two mottos were engraved.

On some coins he described himself as

“BACIΛEYC AΧWMITW”, “King of Axum”.

On others appeared the motto “BICI ΔAXY”, “bisi Dakhu”;

(this is the first appearance of the title “bisi”),

which S. C. Munro-Hay believes, is related to

the Ge’ez word be’esya – translation “man of “…


They converted to Christianity in 325 or 328 under King Ezana and was the first state ever, to use the image of the “Cross” on its coins..

At its height, Axsum controlled Northern Ethiopia, Eritrea,

Nubia, Upper Egypt, Djibouti, Yemen, and Southern Saudi Arabia, totalling 1.25 million km².

Axumite-Silk Route

It was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the Persian Empire of the day and declined after the 7th century due to unknown reasons,

but informed speculation suggests the rise of Islam heavily impacted its ability to trade with

the Far East in the era when shipping was limited to coastal navigation as well as cut it off from its principal markets

in Alexandria, Byzantium and Southern Europe.

Under Emperor Ezana,

Axum adopted Christianity in place of its former polytheistic and Judaic religions around 325 A.D.

This gave rise to the present day Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

(only granted autonomy from the Coptic Church in 1959), and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church

(granted autonomy from the Ethiopian Orthodox church in 1993).

Since the schism with orthodoxy following the Council of Chalcedon (451),

It has been an important Miaphysite church, and its scriptures and liturgy are still in Ge’ez.

It was a cosmopolitan and culturally important state.

It was a meeting place for a variety of cultures:

EthiopianEgyptianSudanicArabic, and Indian.

The Major Aksumite cities had SabeanHebrewNubianChristian, and even Buddhist minorities.


Macro-Haplogroup L Family in “Yemen የመን / Oman ኦማን” Sabaeans, Habeshas of South West Asia.”

Posted in Afro Arabs, afro asiatic, anthrolpology, DNA, Haplogroup L2 and L3 in West Asia, Haplogroups L4, L2a1, L5, L6, L7, Oman mtDna, Saudi Arabia mtDna, Yemen mtDna with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2009 by Biléh* Gambéla በላይ ። ጋምበላ🇺🇸🇸🇩🇨🇻


Haplogroups L1,L2,L3A in the Near East reach their highest frequency in the Yemen Hadramawt (~35%).

Other Arab populations—Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, Iraqis, and Bedouin—have ~10%–15% of lineages of

sub-Saharan African Origin. These types are rarely shared between different Arab populations.

By contrast, non-Arab Near Eastern populations—Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Azeris, and Georgians—have few or no such lineages, suggesting that gene flow from Africa has been specifically into Arab populations.

For comparison, southern European mtDNAs include only ~2% of these lineages, and northern Europeans <1% (Richards et al.2000).

The only European Region to stand out is Iberia, where ~4% of mtDNAs belong to these clusters, probably a trace of the

Medieval Moorish conquests

(Côrte-Real et al. 1996; Richards et al. 2000).

The most extensive pan-African haplotype (16189 16192 16223 16278 16294 16309 16390) is in the L2a1 haplogroup.

This sequence is observed in West Africa among the MalinkeWolof, and others; in North Africa among the Maure/Moor

Tuareg in North Africa and West Africa and among the East African Dinka and Somali.

(Ely et. al. 2006; Watson et al. 1997)Moors – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The African Maure

Mauritania – Maures



There is also evidence from one sample (Semino et al. 1989) that in parts of Sicily, which was held by the Arabs between 8251091 a.d.

Haplogroup L1 and Haplogroup L2 amount to ~4%.

young-yemenis-boy Macro-Haplogroup L Familia


The Arabian Peninsula

Sub-Saharan Africa L lineages in Saudi Arabia account for 10% of the total. χ2 analyses showed that there is not significant regional differentiation in this Country. However, there is significant heterogeneity (p < 0.001) when all the Arabian Peninsula countries are compared. This is mainly due to the comparatively high frequency of sub-Saharan lineages in Yemen (38%) compared to Oman-Qatar (16%) and to Saudi Arabia-UAE (10%). Most probably, the higher frequencies shown in southern countries reflect their greater proximity to Africa, separated only by the Bab’al Mandab strait.Yemenis with Ak47 and Knife

However, when attending to the relative contribution of the different L haplogroups,

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are highly similar for their L2 (36%), L3 (34%) and L0 (21%) frequencies whereas in

Oman and UAE the bulk of L lineages belongs to L3 (72%). In this enlarged sample of Saudi Arabs,

Representatives of all the recently defined East African haplogroups L4 , L5 , L6 and L7 , have been found.

The only L4 Saudi haplotype belongs to the L4a1 subclade defined by  (16207) T/C transversion. Although it has no exact matches its most related types are found in Ethiopia.

Four L5 lineages have been found in Saudi Arabia all have the same haplotype that belongs to L5a1 defined in the HVSI region by (16355 – 16362) motif.

It has matches in Egypt and Ethiopia. L6 was found the most abundant clade in Yemen . It has been now detected in Saudi Arabia but only once.

This Haplotype (16048-16223*-16224-16243-16278*16311) differs from all the previous L6 lineages by the presence of mutation (16243).

In addition it lacks the (16362) transition that is carried by all L6 lineages from Yemen but has the ancestral (16048) mutation only absent in one Yemeni lineage.

This Saudi type adds L6 variability to Arabia, because until now L6 was only represented by a very abundant and a rare haplotype in Yemen.

Attending to the most probable geographic origin of the sub-Saharan Africa lineages in Saudi Arabia, 33 (61%) have matches with East Africa, 7 (13%) with Central/West Africa whereas the rest 14 (26%) have not yet been found in Africa.

Some of them belong to haplogroups with Western Africa origin and the other half to Haplogroups with Eastern Africa adscription. It is also notable frequencies of Haplogroup L lineages reached the area as consequence of slave trade, but more ancient historic contacts with NorthEast Africa are also well documented.

The mtdna Of the Haplogroup L family remains indigenous in these Regions. (ex. 15o,000 b.p. to 70,ooo b.p. hap-grps Lo-L4)Yemins Elder with Afro Young Brothers

We compared the frequency of Haplogroups L1, L2, L3A in

Jewish Communities from the Near East with that in non-Jewish communities residing historically in the same area (table 1).

Near Eastern Jewish groups have smaller frequency of mtdna % in

Haplogroups L1, L2, L3A

(as, indeed, do Ashkenazi Jews [Thomas et al. 2002]).

The only exception is in Jews from Yemen, but, even here, these lineages amount only to a quarter of their frequency in the non-Jewish sample from the Hadramawt.

It is conceivable that Haplogroups L1, L2, L3A have been lost from the Jewish communities as a result of Genetic Drift

Although the independent loss of both L1 and L2 from all Jewish groups seems unlikely.

{However, L2a1a, as defined by a substitution at (np 16286)

(Salas et al. 2002), is now supported by a

Coding-region marker (np 3918) (fig. 2A) and was found in four of six Yemeni L2a1 lineages.

L2a1a occurs at its highest frequency in SouthEastern Africa

(Pereira et al. 2001; Salas et al. 2002).

Both the frequent founder haplotype and derived lineages

(with 16092 mutation) found among

Yemenis have exact matches within Mozambique sequences

(Pereira et al. 2001; Salas et al. 2002).

Most Ethiopian L2a1 sequences share mutations at nps 16189 and 16309 (L2aβ2 [Salas et al.2002]),

and a minor portion, L2a1c, shares mutations at nps 16209, 16301, and 16354

(within cluster L2a α1 [Salas et al. 2002]).

The L2a1β2 HVS-I motif shows a pan-African spread (Salas et al. 2002).

Whereas the majority (26/33) of African American L2a complete sequences could be

partitioned into four subclades by substitutions at nps 3495, 3918, 5581, and 15229

(Torroni et al. 2001; Howell et al.2004),

None of these were observed in our Ethiopian L2a1 samples.

A single L2d1 sequence from the Yemeni sample shares the haplotype that has so far been

Observed in Sudan and in SouthEastern Africa (Salas et al. 2002).

Consistent with figure 7a of Salas et al. (2002),

Ethiopian L2b sequences form a subset of a predominantly West African clade,

Distinguished from West African lineages by a transition at np 16145.}

Several other lines of evidence also support recent Introgression – Hybridization

mtDNA lineages among Ethiopian, Egyptian, and Yemeni populations,

the MDS plot (fig. 3clustered them, together with Egyptians, in between

the Near Eastern and the West African and Southern African clusters

Consistent with that, the admixture analysis showed the Yemeni population as a

Hybrid of Predominantly Ethiopian and Near Eastern maternal Gene pools,

which provides no significant support for gene flow from Mozambique (table 2).

NOTE: Haplogroup L2a1 was found in 5 European Ashkenazi Jewish countries {Doron M. Behar1, Ene Metspalu2, Toomas Kivisild2,}

More than half of the Yemen L1, L2, L3A lineages occur at the tips of the mtDNA tree (cf. Salas et al. 2002),

Indicating that they have been generated by mutation relatively recently.

Furthermore, a majority of the L1, L2, L3A lineages in the Hadramawt—such as members of L2b, L2d, L3b, and L3d—trace back ultimately to West Africa,

So that it is likely that they were delivered to East Africa by the Bantu Dispersals.

{However, Supporting this suggestion, all of the L2a types in the Hadramawt

Occur at Elevated Frequency in the

Bantu Speakers of Mozambique.}

(Pereira et al. 2001; Salas et al. 2002).

Moreover, the chief L1a type in the Hadramawt also occurs at elevated frequency in

Bantu Speakers and is implicated in

The Bantu Dispersals, albeit having been picked up in East Africa en route.

(Salas et al. 2002). (Bantu languages)

Bantu Speakers are thought to have become first established to the East of the

Great Lakes region somewhat <2,000 years ago (Phillipson 1993).

Assuming that the sub-Saharan African input into Arabia is indeed directly from East Africa

(rather than including a component from west or southeastern Africa), as is most likely on historical and geographical grounds (Segal 2001),

This again limits the main spread into Arabia to within the last ~2,000 years.

Extensive Female-Mediated Gene Flow from Sub-Saharan Africa into Yemen and West Asia …

BioMed Central | Full text | Mitochondrial DNA structure in the Arabian Peninsula …

Eurasian And African mtDna in Saudi Arabian Population.text

Mitchondrial Sequences of Mali and Mauritania.pdf

Hadhramaut – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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