Lesson Starters

Aksumite Coins

 King Ezana 330-360 CE

The ancient Aksumite Kingdom (located in the modern countries of Ethiopia and Eritrea) was the first country in East Africa to mint coins and the first coins in the world to bear the Christian cross.

Research the following Aksumite kings and their coins
King Endubis
King Ezana
King Kaleb
King Aphilas
King Armah




African Horses: Past and Present

Ethiopia, Church of Debra Berhan Selassie,  Gondar,


Horses played important roles in ancient and medieval societies in East, West and North Africa. Rulers purchased horses to build cavalries, defeat their enemies and build empires. Kings and wealthy people also purchased horses for personal use. Traders who had visited the Ghana empire in the 11th century described the king as “splendidly dressed and flanked by ten horses covered with gold-embroidered materials” .  Several centuries later the Turkish scholar al-Halabī (1361-1450)  noted that Mansa Musa “appeared on horseback magnificently dressed in the midst of his soldiers, with a retinue of more than 10,000.”




Wikimedia Commons  Fasiledes Castle atnGondar

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the fortress-city of Fasil Ghebbi at Gondar, Ethiopia was founded by the  Ethiopian emperor Fasilides.  Its unique architecture shows diverse influences including Nubian, Hindu, Arab and Baroque styles.

Within the Fasil Ghebbi palace compound are: the Castle of Emperor Fasilidas, the Castle of Emperor Iyasu, the Library of Tzadich Yohannes; the Chancellery of Tzadich Yohannes; the Castle of Emperor David, the Palace of Mentuab and Banqueting Hall of the Emperor Bekaffa. The remaining seven components are located in and around the city of Gondar: the Debre Berhan Selassie (Monastery and church); the Bath of Fasilidas; Kiddush Yohannes; Qusquam (Monastery and Church); Thermal Area; the Sosinios (also known as Maryam Ghemb); the Gorgora (Monastery and Church) and the Palace of Guzara.

Book: The Glory of Gondar Caroline Kurtz

Video: Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Region. UNESCO/NHK

3D Model: Fasil Ghebbi. Zamani Project
Grade: Secondary

Project Idea: Replica