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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the period between the early last millennium BC and the mid-second millennium AD in the Horn of Africa, roughly comprising the modern states of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and all components of the former Somalia. It focuses on developments in the northern highlands of Ethiopia/Eritrea, where archaeological investigation has been concentrated. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the physical and environmental diversity of the Horn has been reflected in its past human settlement well into the second millennium AD. From at least the seventh century BC, and probably long before, the peoples of the northern Ethiopian highlands have received visitors and cultural influences from overseas. Innovations have ranged from the commercial and the technological to the literary and the religious, which last saw Christianity and, latterly, Islam adopted from overseas during times when Ethiopia was part of an international community held together by commercial, political, and religious links.

Keywords: Horn of Africa, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Christianity, Islam, archaeological investigation

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