Yeha Temple, Temple of the Moon
Discovered in the town of Yeha in the Mehakelegnaw Zone of the northern Tigray region, the stone tower is built in a Sabean-style, common across much of sub-saharan Africa.
Towering over the small town, which is considered by many to be the pre-aksumite capital of the country, the temple of the moon was built in honour of the god Almougah, and dates back to around 700 BC to the reign of D’mt.
Stone carved inscriptions found across the site detail grand tales of Almougah’s glory and their power to cast out the harsh unrelenting sun.
Despite its now dilapidated facade, a sense of awe still overcomes those who wander past the five-metre tall doorway, into a cavernous space with a deep pool in the middle, which was used for ceremonial and sacrificial purposes.
All the limestone used in its construction was sourced from a local quarry, only 90 miles away from the site, and was built without the use of cement or mortar making its longevity even more puzzling.
As Christianity spread across the land, the site was adopted by early followers and converted into the monastery St Abuna Aftse, which remains to this day.
Various archaeological digs have been conducted around the area, many of which are still ongoing, uncovering millennia worth of history. Hidden beneath the shifting sands that surround the site as new layers are unearthed, Yeha temple and her long illustrious history is slowly being revealed.
Popular Trips Including Tigray
Fusing history, culture, landscapes and wildlife along a perfectly paced circuit, this trip is a synthesis of the very best experiences on offer in Ethiopia’s northern highlands. Explorations of the ancient cities Axum, Gondar, Bahir Dar and Lalibela are broken…
A true adventure across the northernmost reaches of Ethiopia. Experience community trekking on the plateaus of Tigray, where horizons stretch for miles, distant mountain peaks morph into hazy silhouettes lit by the evening sun, and pockets of light and shadow…