Preparatory assistance for an extension to the site of Tiya, Ethiopia
Ethiopia has numerous megalithic sites. The most important of them is Tiya, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1980. It has thirty-six monuments, including thirty-two stelae inscribed with sometimes recurring patterns (such as swords and mysterious symbols), which are generally linked to funeral rites. These standing stones some of which are quite elaborate, can be decorated in a range of ways and reach enormous sizes. They are the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture, the age of which has not yet been precisely determined.
This project was part of the process of extending the boundaries of the site of Tiya. Technical assistance, as requested by the World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the CRCCH (Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Ethiopian Ministry of Information and Culture), analysed the initial results of the field study and prepared a plan to evaluate the information required for the preparation of the extension proposal. The expert mission was carried out in two parts, with the support of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement. The first part included study of the site inventory prepared by the CRCCH and the tour routes put in place following that exercise, as well as an evaluation of the impact on the current general state of Tiya. The second part of the mission involved an evaluation of the general management plan for the site, including recommendations for maintenance, development, and actions related to modification of the original boundaries of the designated property. It was noted that there was a need to extend the boundaries of the World Heritage site and several recommendations were published in the hopes of finalising the extension.