Tiya Archeological Site, its enchanting environs tourist attractions

Tiya archeological site was registered under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1980. It is an amazing tourist attraction located in the Southern region along with the Butajira road in Sodo Tiya town.

The total numbers of the stone pillars are expected to be more than 36, having different width, size, and length (about 1.5 meters). 32 of the stone pillars have different carvings such as moon, sun, hand, sword and juvenile, among others. Most of the stone pillars are adorned with decorations. The area has become famous for its astonishing large stone pillars.

Historians explain that the stone pillars are erected to commemorate the then notable persons’ graving.

Tiya historical archeological site is located 8026’ north, 38037’ east. Some heritage experts extend the number of the stone pillars to 44. The experts also highlighted that these stone pillars are unique in their size and shape. Most stone pillars found in Egypt, Middle East, Europe, and South America are mostly square or circle. However, the Tiya stone pillars are wide from the bottom and become narrow in the upper. The lengths of some stones are also above 1.5 meters. The carvings on the stone are also varied based on the personal achievements of the man dedicated to commemoration.

Though it is not known that the Pre-history Ethiopians erected these stones, it is assumed that the stones stand to commemorate the then war leaders, rulers, and other notable persons. The experts also underscored that the stones are brought from different areas and erected on the current location 800 years ago. Others believe that the stones were erected by the pre-history Ethiopians.

In addition, the stone pillars are remains erected on their location for many years due to its deep underground basement which is about eight meters, the experts explain.

On the other hand, the number of swords seen on the stone indicates the number of his children and the number of animals he hunted and killed in his lifetime.

These days, the Tiya Archeological Site has gained local and international tourists attention. The Italian archeological researchers have written more about this archeological site before 70 years during the Italian five years invasion.

The UNESCO researches indicate that the other German archeology researcher also visited the site 84 years ago and wrote what he saw – stone pillars with a sword -in his research. There were also other two European researchers Neuville and Pere Azais who discovered the area earlier.

Recently, the Central Ethiopia State Chief Endeshaw Tassew revealed that the State is working to make the Tiya Archeological Site a preferable tourist destination.

The Chief Administrator indicated that the State is closely working with private investors to develop the State’s natural resources and promote intangible cultural heritages thereby augmenting the State’s income from different sectors.

The State Chief told the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) that the State has immense natural and intangible resources extending from the Yem Saja up to the Tiya Archeological Site and other areas.

“However, little has been done regarding developing and utilizing the tourism potentials of these attractions. The State has been generating low income from the tourism sector. Following this, enormous activities are ongoing to develop the Tiya Archeological Site in a manner keeping its international standard to make it a potential tourist destination in the country,” he said.

“If we go to Kembata, there is Mount Hambericho 777 and Silte lakes. If we go to the Gurage, there is the Zebidar area. There is also an impressive ecology in Yem, The meandering mountains that stretch from Gurage to Wolaita are also the other tourist attractions of the State. Therefore, the State is exerting maximum efforts to harness the tourism sector potentials.”

More importantly, the State is working persistently to make Tiya Archeological Site a preferable tourism destination through developing it in a way meeting international standards. “To this effect, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has provided financial assistance to the State from the sale of “Medemer Book,” he recalled.

After the State was established, two designs were made to reflect both the cultural and modern parts of the Tiya World Heritage Site. Then, decisions have been made to integrate both designs.

The State will put the Tiya Archeological Site tourist destination development blueprint in the near future. It will also work in collaboration with pertinent stakeholders, investors, embassies, among others to fill the financial gap and finalize the project.

Accordingly, Tiya has not yet been promoted and publicized at the desired level. The factors which hinder tourism development include lack of sufficient research, inadequate infrastructure, accommodation and promotion. Governmental and private developers should exert their maximum efforts to preserve, promote and develop tourism heritages and tourism destinations through tackling the challenges confronting the sector. In addition, the nation should work tirelessly to get its remaining heritages in UNESCO’s list. This way the smokeless industry would be a major economic engine that could generate foreign currency earnings.

Moreover, in addition to the Tiya Archeological Site, the surrounding area offers a wealth of attractions for tourists to enjoy. From historic landmarks to natural wonders, there is something for everyone to discover in this diverse and vibrant area.

One must-visit destination near Tiya is the Adadi Mariam Rock-Hewn Church, a spectacular underground church carved into solid rock. This unique and impressive structure is believed to date back to the 12th century, making it one of the oldest churches in Ethiopia. Visitors can explore the underground chambers, admire the intricate carvings, and learn about the Adadi Mariam Rock-Hewn Church’s fascinating history.

In sum, located south of the capital city, Addis Ababa, this historic site is home to a collection of ancient stone monoliths, known as stelae, which date back to the 12th century. These intricately carved stelae are believed to have been markers for graves or important events, and they provide a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past.



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