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June 12 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDTFree
Abyssinia, which is intended as a living museum & educational resource on the Science Circle’s OpenSim grid, is my reconstruction of ancient archaeological sites in Tigray (northern Ethiopia) & Eritrea that date from at least 1000 BCE through roughly 800 CE. I excavated at several of these sites decades ago (1969-1972), & now am restoring parts of them virtually to their prominence during their heyday. Currently I have constructed two major buildings & other parts of Yeha, capital of the kingdom then known as Di’amat, located in Tigray.
I created a similar project on Second Life more than a decade ago, but technical & financial issues prevented its continuation, so I am grateful to be able to created it again.
Framed within the striking dragon-tooth mountains characteristic of the region, Yeha was the administrative & religious capital of a kingdom that controlled trade along the Red Sea together with its counterpart & related South Arabian kingdom Saba’ in what is now Yemen, The language, culture, religion, & architecture of the two kingdoms bear strong similarities, indicating their close contact.
There are two major buildings in Yeha from that period, the Great Temple, which still remains largely standing, & the administrative palace, whose ruins are known as Grat Be’al Gibri (the field of the tax collector). I participated in the first two seasons of excavation at the latter, during which the front of the building, including a colonnaded portico, were opened.
Subsequent more recent excavations on both buildings by a joint German-Ethiopian team have revealed many additional details about them, which are incorporated in my full-scale recreations of the buildings, which can be fully explored. I also included several other structures which represent other aspects of the city as it must have appeared at that time, including houses, a market, a pavilion for a royal festival, farm fields, & a representative war elephant, which were one of the exports from the kingdom to the Mediterranean & the Middle East. As time & space permit, it is my intention to add other important sites from both Tigray & Eritrea.
This project has gained greater significance for me since the tragic war which has been fought throughout Tigray since November 2020, causing great human suffering & destruction. Many of the sites & artifacts that have been or will be represented are located in Tigray, which now is undergoing the upheaval of disastrous civil war.
Skip dedicates this project to the people of Tigray, as well as those of Ethiopia & Eritrea, with urgent hopes for return to peace & stability.