MNN Galleries

8 ruins to take you on a walk through time

Aksum, Ethiopia, ruins

Photo: Pascal RATEAU/Shutterstock, trevor kittelty/Shutterstock (inset)

9 of 10

Aksum, Ethiopia

Some of the earliest Christian churches in the world are in Aksum (occasionally Romanized as Axum) in northern Ethiopia. Another North African empire that controlled vast portions of land (including parts of Arabia) not often mentioned in Western history books, Aksum has a history that dates back to a time more than 2,000 years ago.

Pillars inscribed with writing in a variety of languages (shown in the inset photo), including the ancient Ethiopian tongue of Ge'ez, various Arabian languages, and ancient Greek serve as testament to the regional importance that the kingdom once enjoyed. Tombs, monuments to successful rulers, and other buildings are part of the expansive grounds.