This exciting tour began with the story of ancient Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Axum in the northern highlands. My guide began by asking me if I knew the story of King Solomon and Queen Makeda. I told him that of course I know about King Solomon, and the Queen of Sheba, but not Queen Makeda. Well, he said, tell me what you know of Sheba. I became embarrassed and told him that in I Kings and the Chronicles of the Old Testament it describes the Queen of Sheba as a woman of great beauty, immense intelligence and a powerful ruler of ancient Ethiopia who travelled to ancient Israel to meet the wise, wealthy and powerful King Solomon. She eventually gave up her gods and converted to the God of the Israelites. "Makeda, he said, "is known outside of Ethiopia as Queen of Sheba. "Many Ethiopians believe and it is our tradition that King Menelik I is the son of King Solomon and Queen Makeda “Sheba”; Menelik I became king when his mother died about one thousand years before the birth of Christ. And King Menelik began a line of Solomonic dynasty. Our ties to ancient Israel runs deep, Christianity came early to Ethiopia very early, and the churches are ancient and unique, like nowhere else in the world".
If you are ever in Addis Ababa, the National Museum is a quality museum to visit. The guides are very knowledgeable and the entrance fee is very inexpensive. In fact, this entire Horn of Africa country should be on your travel wish list, and now is the time to experience Ethiopia’s treasures without the hordes of tourists that you find elsewhere.
On October 1, 2009 researchers presented the oldest hominid fossil, also found in Ethiopia; a million years older than Lucy and her name is Ardi.
Becoming Human Part 1
NOVA First Steps: Six million years ago, what set our ancestors on the path from ape to human? Aired November 3, 2009 on PBS.
Part 1: "First Steps," examines the factors that caused us to split from the other great apes. The program explores the fossil of "Selam," also known as "Lucy's Child." Paleoanthropologist Zeray Alemseged spent five years carefully excavating the sandstone-embedded fossil. NOVA's cameras are there to capture the unveiling of the face, spine, and shoulder blades of this 3.3 million-year-old fossil child. And NOVA takes viewers "inside the skull" to show how our ancestors' brains had begun to change from those of the apes. The other programs in the "Becoming Human" series are Part 2: "Birth of Humanity," which profiles the earliest species of humans, and Part 3: "Last Human Standing," which examines why, of various human species that once shared the planet, only our kind remains.