The Tiya stones are part of an archaeological site located in central Ethiopia, in an area known as the Gurage Zone. The 46 large, decorated Tiya megaliths have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the construction of such megaliths is an ancient tradition in Ethiopia, the Tiya stones are fairly ‘recent,’ dating to sometime between the 10th and 15th centuries.
Remarkably little is known about the Tiya stelae beyond descriptions of their physical appearance. These large monuments likely had some cultural significance when erected, but their meaning remains unclear today and very few efforts have been made towards understanding these magnificent monoliths.
Engraved Tiya stones. (BigStockPhoto)
A Collection of Megalithic Pillar Sites
The town of Tiya is found in central Ethiopia, located in the Soddo Region, in an area known as the Gurage Zone. Over 100 stelae can be found scattered across nine distinct megalithic pillar sites within the zone, 46 of which can be found at Tiya.