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Not to be confused with Tiye.
For the Queen of Amenhotep III, see Tiye. For the Indian caste, see Ezhava.
Tiya vue d'ensemble.JPG
Tiya is located in Ethiopia
Location in Ethiopia
Coordinates: 8°26′N 38°37′E / 8.433°N 38.617°E / 8.433; 38.617Coordinates: 8°26′N 38°37′E / 8.433°N 38.617°E / 8.433; 38.617
Country Ethiopia
Region Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region
Zone Gurage
Population (2005)
 • Total 3,363
Official name: Tiya
Type: Cultural
Criteria: i, iv
Designated: 1980 (4th session)
Reference No. 12
Region: Africa

Tiya is a town in central Ethiopia. It is located in the Gurage Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region south of Addis Ababa.

Archaeological site[edit]

Megaliths with engraved figures in Tiya.

Tiya is best known for its adjacent archeological site, which is distinguished by 36 standing stones (menhir) or stelae, "32 of which are engraved with enigmatic symbols, notably swords," marking a large, prehistoric burial complex.[1] A German ethnographic expedition had visited the site in April 1935, and had found at one hour's journey to the south of the caravan camp the stone monoliths with sword symbol, which had been seen earlier by Neuville and Père Azaïs.[2] The archeological site was designated a World Heritage Site in 1980.

The stelae at Tiya and other areas in central Ethiopia are similar to those on the route between Djibouti City and Loyada in Djibouti. In the latter area, there are a number of anthropomorphic and phallic stelae, which are associated with graves of rectangular shape flanked by vertical slabs. The Djibouti-Loyada stelae are of uncertain age, and some of them are adorned with a T-shaped symbol.[3]

Other points of interest near Tiya include Melka Awash, the Hera Shetan crater lake, and Agesoke, a place where very tall, naturally ordered stoneblocks can be seen.


Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, Tiya has an estimated total population of 3,363 of whom 1,615 are men and 1,748 are women.[4] The 1994 national census reported this town had a total population of 1,856 of whom 894 were males and 962 were females. Tiya is one of three towns in Soddo woreda.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matt Philips and Jean-Bernard Carillet, Ethiopia and Eritrea, third edition (n.p.: Lonely Planet, 2006), p. 171
  2. ^ "Local History in Ethiopia" The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 31 May 2008)
  3. ^ Fattovich, Rodolfo (1987). "Some remarks on the origins of the Aksumite Stelae". Annales d'Ethiopie 14 (14): 43–69. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  4. ^ CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.4

Further reading[edit]

  • Roger Joussaume (editor), Tiya, l'Éthiopie des Mégalithes, du Biface a l'Art Rupestre dans laCorne d'Afrique (Paris: UNESCO/CNS, 1995).

External links[edit]