THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MEDIEVAL ETHIOPIAN PRIESTS: A BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL AND OSTEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF HUMAN MUMMIES FROM ABUNE MELKETSADIK AND YIMREHANE CAVE MONASTERIES, ETHIOPIA By ABIYOT DEBEBE SEIFU A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2016
2016 Abiyot Debebe Seifu
To all Ethiopian Christians martyrs Killed by IS I S in Libya t o my father, to my sisters and to Hanna Amare
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee chair, Dr. Steven Brandt, first and foremost for his extraordinary support, advice, and patience these past few years. He was always there, every step of the way and also helped me to develop critical thinking. This dissertation would not be possible without his support and guidance. I would also like to thank my doctoral committee for their advice on the area of their specialization throughout the entire PhD process. I am grateful to the National Geographic Society, Waitt Grants Progra m, for providing funding for the field work and I would particularly like to thank the Waitt Program Coordinator, Fabio Esteban Amador. I am grateful for the generous assistance of the Department of Anthropology for providing financial assistance for my f ieldwork. In particular, I am indebted to Dr. Susan deFrance for her unwavering support. I am also grateful for the countless support of Juanita Bagnall, Karen Jones and Pamela Freeman. I am also grateful to the African Studies for the fellowship and fundi ng my dissertation providing. In particular, I am grateful for Dr. Leonardo Villalon, Dr. Abe Goldman, Dr. Agnes Leslie, D r. Mary Watt, and Dr. Todd Leedy, who facilitated my graduate study and fieldwork funding. I would like to thank Dr. John Krigbaum for generously extending his assistance to cover the isotope samples cost and interprets the results. I would also like to thank Dr. Michael Warren for allowing me to use the C.A Pound Lab for the forensic analysis. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Robert Galluccio and Michala Schaye, who spent several hours in the lab to prepare and analyze the result. I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. Yonas Beyene, Dr. Kassaye Begashaw, Dr. Alemseged Beldados, Dr. FeKadu Gashaw and Dr. Hana Getache w, who provided material and precious advice during the data collection period. I also
5 acknowledge the support of Dr. Abiyot Legesse, Dean of the Graduate School and the faculty and staff at Dilla University, who warmly received me, gave me space to work, and accommodation. I thank the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage for their continuous support of my doctoral research. In particular, I thank Ato Yonas Desta, Director of ARCCH, who worked hard to facilitate my fieldwork by conta cting state and local officials. I am also grateful for the Amhara Region, the Northern Shewa and Wello, Culture and Tourism Bureau, who facilitated the research permit. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Lasta Woreda Culture and Tourism Burea u Head Adera Chane, who worked tirelessly to facilitate the work permit and the research project. I am also grateful for the role of Mengistu Gobeze, for his expertise and support. I am incredibly grateful for the work of Yibzawork Mesfin and Debreguad Sel lassie Renovation Committee, who facilitated the excavation and data collection process. Numerous people contributed to this dissertation in different ways, and I want to thank you all for being my guardian angels. I would like to extend my appreciation es pecially to Dr. Dawit Woldu, Dr. Asmeret Mehari, Lucas M. Johnson, Sara Stefanos, Jesse A. McClelland and Justin Dunnavant, who edited my dissertation. I am especially grateful to Paul Murray, who made me a better writer. He devoted a substantial amount of his time to polish my dissertation and kept my spirits up. It was my privilege working with him as he is very punctual, responsible and above all, very tirelessly supportive. I am also grateful for the help of Linda, who also edited my dissertation. I wou ld also like to extend my gratitude to Brigitte Danny Albert, Andrea and Tigist for continuous encouragement. I would like to extend my appreciation particularly
6 to Tigist Tolera (mimi) who provided material and look after my family when I was away for fieldwork and Andrea for editing my dissertation. I have also been fortunate to have wonderful friends for more than three decades who are the member of the Senate, namely Abebe Mebrate, Solomon Legesse, and Joni Girma. They are my inspirations and encoura ged me every step of the way. I am also indebted to Dr.Tesfamariam, Sewalem and Shimelis, who provided me accommodations and a long time true friends. I also want to thank Halleluiah, Nahom, Caleb and Eferata for their untold encouragement. I have been for tunate enough to have wonderful extended family members who contributed tremendously in different ways. My heartfelt thanks go to my mother Kebebish Geda, who helped me every step of the way. I am also grateful for my brothers Asfaw, Teferi, Asrat, Yirgedu Serkalem and Tigist Debebe. I am also gratefu l for the help of Aynalem Yifru, Eyob Haile, Thomas Assefa, George Melaku Getnet and Fikirte Adey and Hanny Abebe. I am very gratefu l for especially for Eyob and Thomas, who spend their precious time to format my dissertation. Finally, I would like to extend my most gracious appreciation to my beloved wife Minaye Desie Tefera, and my two beautiful daughters Mighty and Naomi Abiyot, who were stood and encourag ed me. Minaye's courage and wisdom inspire d me to work hard and endure the challenges. She dedicated her time to take good care of our daughters, and it helped me to finish this dissertation. I am the luckiest person in the whole world to have them. This d issertation would no t have been possible without their support.
7 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 10 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 15 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 17 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 20 Research Goals and Objectives ................................ ................................ ............. 25 Research Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 26 On Site Data Col lection and Analyses ................................ ............................. 26 Off Site Methods of Analysis ................................ ................................ ............ 27 Challenges and Limitations of the Study ................................ ................................ 27 Structure of the Dissertation ................................ ................................ ................... 31 2. HISTORY OF MUMMIFICATION IN EGYPT AND NUBIA ................................ ...... 36 Etymology of Mummy and Mummification ................................ .............................. 36 Previous Works on Mummies and Mummification in the Egypt and Nubia ............. 38 The Origin of Mummification in Egypt ................................ ................................ ..... 41 Neolithic to Early Dynastic Mummification (c.5000 2686 BC) ........................... 41 Old Kingdom Mummification (c.2686 2160 BC) ................................ ............... 42 First Intermediate Mummification (c.2160 2055 BC) ................................ ........ 44 Middle Kingdom Mummification (c.2055 1650 BC) ................................ .......... 44 Second Intermediate Period Mummification (c.1650 1550 BC) ........................ 45 New Kingdom Mummification (c.1550 1069 BC) ................................ .............. 45 Third Intermediate Period Mummification (c.1069 664 BC) .............................. 46 Late Period (c.664 332 BC) ................................ ................................ .............. 47 Ptolem aic Period (c.332 30 BC) ................................ ................................ ....... 47 The Roman Period Mummification (c.30 395 AD) ................................ ............ 48 Coptic Period Mummification (c.395 641 AD) ................................ ................... 48 Mummification in Nubia ................................ ................................ ........................... 49 Materials Used in Mummification ................................ ................................ ............ 50 Aromatic Substances ................................ ................................ ....................... 50 Adhesive Substance ................................ ................................ ......................... 51 Deterrent Substances ................................ ................................ ....................... 52 Classificati on of Mummies ................................ ................................ ...................... 53
8 Processes of Mummification ................................ ................................ ................... 57 Motives for Mummification ................................ ................................ ...................... 61 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 62 3. HYPOTHESIS OF MUMMIFI CATION PRACTICES IN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 64 Sources of mummification ................................ ................................ ....................... 64 Traditional sources ................................ ................................ ........................... 65 Historical s ources ................................ ................................ ............................. 69 Archaeological Source ................................ ................................ ..................... 71 Christianity in Ethiopia and Eritrea ................................ ................................ .......... 71 The Nine Saints and Expansion of Mummification ................................ ........... 72 The Development of Cave Monasteries and Monasticism in Ethiopia and Eritrea ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 73 Mummification Tradition in Eritrea ................................ ................................ .......... 73 Mummification Practices in Ethiopia ................................ ................................ ....... 74 Mummies in North and Central Ethiopia ................................ ........................... 75 Mummification in Southern Ethiopia: The Konso People ................................ .. 76 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 77 4. ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON CAVE CHURCHES AND MUMMIES IN NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ETHIOPIA ................................ ................................ 88 Bioarchaeological and Geoarchaeological Studies ................................ ................. 88 Physiography of Northern Wello and Shewa Zones ................................ ............... 92 Previous research on the Development of Cave Churches in Ethiopia ................... 93 Archaeological Survey and Study Sites Mapping ................................ ................... 99 Tseha Michael Cave Monastery. ................................ ................................ ...... 99 Kara Meshige Fort ................................ ................................ .......................... 100 The YK Cave Mo nastery ................................ ................................ ................ 100 The AM Cave Monastery ................................ ................................ ................ 102 DS Cave Monastery ................................ ................................ ....................... 103 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 104 5. ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND EXCAVATION OF SELECTED SITES ....... 121 Reconnaissance Survey ................................ ................................ ....................... 121 Field Data Collection ................................ ................................ ............................. 124 Field Assistants and Workers ................................ ................................ ......... 124 Ar chaeological Field Survey ................................ ................................ ........... 125 Excavation: Golden Opportunity and Challenge ................................ ............. 128 Archaeological Excavations of the DS ................................ ................................ .. 131 Excavation Locality I ................................ ................................ ....................... 132 Excavation Locality II ................................ ................................ ...................... 135 Excavation Locality III ................................ ................................ ..................... 137 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 139
9 6. BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL AND OSTEOLOGICAL DATA OF MUMMIES FROM THE DS, AM AND YK STUDY SITES ................................ ................................ ... 153 Mummy Inventory ................................ ................................ ................................ 153 Metrics Measurements and Analyses ................................ ............................. 154 Nonmetric Variation Analysis ................................ ................................ .......... 155 Data Analysis Software Tools ................................ ................................ ............... 155 Fo rdisc 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 155 Statistical Package for the Social Sciences ................................ .................... 155 ArcView GIS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 156 Physical Anthropology Analysis ................................ ................................ ............ 156 Social Status Determination ................................ ................................ ........... 157 Sex Determination ................................ ................................ .......................... 158 Age Estimation ................................ ................................ ............................... 159 Paleopathology ................................ ................................ ............................... 161 Cranial Analysis using Fordisc 3.1 ................................ ................................ 162 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 164 7. ANALYSIS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS AND MUMMIES FROM THE DS, AM AND YK SITES ................................ ................................ ............................... 174 Archaeological Finding s ................................ ................................ ........................ 174 ................................ ................. 174 Crosses Associated with Mummies ................................ ................................ 175 Burial Coffins and Wrapping Materials ................................ ........................... 184 Mummifications in the DS, AM and YK Study Sites ................................ ........ 184 Dating and Isotope Analysis ................................ ................................ ................. 185 Radiocarbon Da ting of Teeth ................................ ................................ .......... 185 Isotope Analysis of Hair and Bone Samples ................................ ................... 18 6 8. DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION ................................ 212 Discussions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 212 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 223 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ................................ 226 Future Studies ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 227 LIST OF REFERENC ES ................................ ................................ ............................. 233 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 244
10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 T he names of the saints, place of origin and the monasteries they founded in different part of the Aksumite Kingdom. Source Ethiopian Orthodox Church. .... 79 3 2 Distribution of mummies in Bugna and Last Woreda of Northern Wello and Mida Woremo of Northern Shewa. Source: Mida Woremo and Lasta Woreda Cultural and Tourism Bureau ................................ ................................ .............. 79 5 1 Code u sed to collect data from all monasteries. ................................ ............... 141 5 2 Multiple interments of mummies excavated from Burial Grave VII. .................. 141 5 3 Distributions of doc umented mummies form the YK, AM and DS sites. ........... 141 6 1 Distribution of mummies in the study sites. ................................ ...................... 166 6 2 Total distribution of status in the AM, DS and YK sites. ................................ .... 166 6 3 The characters of the male and fem ale skulls used for sex determination. ...... 166 6 4 Comparative distribution of status in the AM, DS and YK sites. ....................... 166 6 5 The developmental stage of age class ification ................................ ................. 167 6 6 Sex distribution in the study sites. ................................ ................................ .... 167 6 7 Sex distribution of mummies in e ach study sites. ................................ ............. 167 6 8 The distribution of age in the study sites. ................................ ......................... 167 6 9 ................................ ........... 168 7 1 Crosses discovered from the AM cave monastery. ................................ .......... 190 7 2 State of wrapping condition. ................................ ................................ ............. 190 7 3 Types of mummification in the study sites. ................................ ....................... 190
11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 The AM and DS study sites in central Ethiopia: the small red square shows the relative location of the Meragna town and the surrounding area in Mida Wo remo district in Northern Shewa ................................ ................................ .... 34 1 2 The YK study site in northern Ethiopia. Northern Wello is colored in red while the bottom map shows the physical map of the DS, located at the base of Abune Yosef Mounta in. ................................ ................................ ...................... 35 3 1 The Debre Damo monastery, the height is 25 meters and only men access it. The monastery also host several m ummified human remains. ........................... 80 3 2 Mummies discovered from the Dabre Libanos monastery in Ham, Eritrea. The mummies belonged to diverse social status. ................................ ............... 81 3 3 The Beter Giyorigis rock hewn church, World Heritage site, and shows representative catacombs and hosted the last mummified human remains. The cranial and upper postcranial parts of mummies were significantly damaged. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 82 3 4 Catacomb in Lalibela rock hewn Church.. ................................ .......................... 83 3 5 Tourists visiting the site of YK during fieldwork. ................................ .................. 84 3 6 dy presented to mourners just before his burial (eight years after his death) in the Kala forest ................................ .................... 85 3 7 Wooden anthropomorphic stat ue erected in 2002 for the Waka of Kala Wolde Dawit who was the ritual chief or Poquola of Gamole, Gocha and Mechelo paletas. ................................ ................................ ................................ 86 3 8 Anthropomorphic statues depicting the living ritual chief priest called the Bamale and his wife. The zoomorphic wooden statue of la eopard in front of ................................ .......................... 87 4 1 Map of the study sites: The relative location of Mida Woremo and Lasta Woreda in Amhara Region in Ethiopia in Ethiopia. ................................ ........... 106
12 4 2 Elevation of the Mida Woremo in central Ethiopia. Both the AM and DS caves are located near Meragna town located at an altitude of 2400 MSL and the sites are found at a lo wer elevation at 1800 masl ................................ ............ 107 4 3 Photo taken in the 2013 field season showing the cave of Tseha Michael monastery ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 108 4 4 Kara Meshige Fort... ................................ ................................ ......................... 109 4 5 The YK indigenous forest and degraded landscape. ................................ ........ 110 4 6 The unimpressive exterior wall of YK. ................................ .............................. 110 4 7 The YK cave church and partial view of the palace ................................ .......... 111 4 8 The condition and extent mummies particularly, how they are commingled and disarticulated. All the mummies were stacked at the back of YK cave church. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 112 4 9 The tomb of King YK dated back to eleventh century based on new carbon dating. The tomb is found very close to the church signifying the status of the individual. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 113 4 10 Site map plan of YK. The position of the mummies and skulls reflect the current position after the field work. ................................ ................................ .. 114 4 11 The newly reconstructed cave church and series of retention walls to expand the AM cave monastery. ................................ ................................ ................... 115 4 12 Deacons, Nuns and Followers found in AM cave monastery. .......................... 116 4 13 AM site map. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 117 4 14 DS cave m onastery ................................ ................................ .......................... 118 4 15 Child mummies from the DS church were found in a secondary deposit. ......... 119 4 16 DS site map shows the location of the excavation localities and the mummies. The entire area surrounding the church was excavated. ................. 120 5 1 A semi subterranean tunnel leads to the Tseha Michael cave monastery. ....... 142 5 2 DS site selection and clearance for excavation: ................................ ............... 143 5 3 Crosses excavated during cave church expansion. ................................ .......... 144 5 4 Debre Guad Selassie retention wall. ................................ ................................ 145
13 5 5 Excavation Unit One in Debre Guad Selassie Cave, field assistant Yohanis Sharew excavating Locality I. ................................ ................................ ........... 146 5 6 Child mummy in Burial Grave I. ................................ ................................ ........ 147 5 7 DSFF 2 in Burial Grave II in the DS. ................................ ................................ 148 5 8 Burial Grave III in the DSFM3. ................................ ................................ .......... 149 5 9 Burial Grave IV and V DSFM4 and DSFM5 in the DS. ................................ ..... 150 5 10 Burial Grave VI of DSFM6 in the DS. ................................ ............................... 151 5 11 The multiple interment burial grave in the DS: Initia lly DSFM9 and DSFF10 were exhumed and DSFM11 was moved toward the scale to GSFM12 but GSFM13 was deep inside. ................................ ................................ ............... 152 6 1 Distributions of doc umented mummies form the YK, AM and DS sites. ........... 169 6 2 Status distribution of mummies in the study sites. ................................ ............ 169 6 3 Status distribution of mummies in each study sites. ................................ ......... 170 6 4 Sex distribution in all sites. ................................ ................................ ............... 171 6 5 Sex distribution of mummies in each study sites. ................................ ............. 171 6 6 Age class distribution of mummies from the study sites. ................................ .. 172 6 7 Fordisc 3.1 results ................................ ................................ ............................ 173 7 1 AMP2. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 191 7 2 Anthropomorphic sh aped cross (AMC1) on AMP2. ................................ .......... 192 7 3 AMP3. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 193 7 4 Anthropomorphic shaped cross (AMC2) on AMP3. ................................ .......... 194 7 5 AMP4. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 195 7 6 Anthropomorphic shaped cross (AMC3) on AMP4. ................................ .......... 196 7 7 AMP5. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 197 7 8 Rectangular shaped cross (AMC4) on AMP5. ................................ .................. 198 7 9 AMD1. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 199
14 7 10 Rectangular shaped cross (AMC5) on AMD1. ................................ .................. 200 7 11 AMD1. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 201 7 12 Rectangular shaped cross (AMC6) on AMP3. ................................ .................. 202 7 13 AMM1. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 203 7 14 Anthropomorphic sha ped cross. ................................ ................................ ...... 204 7 15 AMN2. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 205 7 16 A rectangular shaped stone cross. ................................ ................................ ... 206 7 17 AMN3. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 207 7 18 AMC9 is anthropomorphic shaped leather cross that was discovered on AMN2. It is found on the right side hand fingers. ................................ .............. 208 7 19 Burial coffin. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 209 7 20 State o f wrapping condition across the study site. ................................ ............ 210 7 21 Calibrated Carbon 14 results. ................................ ................................ ........... 211 8 1 Multiple stabbing on the hand, ribs and skull of AMFM10. ............................... 228 8 2 The leg of AMFF5 severely damaged by Leprosy. ................................ ........... 229 8 3 Mummified and well preserved goiter on AMFF 24. ................................ ......... 230 8 4 YK 57 biparietal resorption or bilateral concentric parietal thinning. ................ 231 8 5 Taphonomic impact inscect feeding on the mummies. ................................ ..... 232
15 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AD Anno Domini aDNA Ancient Deoxyribonucleic Acid AM Abune Melketsadik AMC Abune Melketsadik Cross AMD Abune Melketsadik Deacon AMF Abune Melketsadik Follower AMFF Abune Melketsadik Follower Female AMFI Abune Melketsadik Follower Infant AMFM Abune Melketsadik Follower Male AMM Abune Melketsadik Monk AMN Abune Melketsadik Nun AMP Abune Melketsadik Priest ARCCH Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage. BC Before Christ CM Centimeter DS Debreguad Sellassie DSD Debreguad Sellassie Deacon DSF Debreguad Sellassie Follower DSFF Debreguad Sellassie Follower Female DSFI Debreguad Sellassie Follower Infant DSFM Debreguad Sellassie Follower male DSM Debreguad Sellassie Monk DSN Debreguad Sellassie Nun DSP Debreguad Sellassie Priest
16 EOC Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization YK Yimrehane Kristos YKD Yimrehane Kristos Deacon YKF Yimrehane Kristos Follower YKFF Yimrehane Kristos Follower Female YKFI Yimrehane Kristos Follower Infant YKFM Yimrehane Kristos Follower male YKM Yimrehane Kristos Monk YKN Yimrehane Kristos Nun YKP Yimrehane Kristos Priest
17 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MEDIEVAL ETHIOPIAN PRIESTS: A BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL AND OSTEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF HUMAN MUMMIES FROM ABUNE MELKETSADIK AND YIMREHANE CAVE MONASTERIES, ETHIOPIA By Abiyot Debebe Seifu August 2016 Chair: Steven Andrew Brandt Major: Anthropology This dissertation u s e s a bioarchaeological and o steological approach to study t he life and death of medieval Ethiopian priests. I t investigates the practi ce o f mummification by anal y z i n g hundreds of extremely well preserved mummies recovered from monasteries in central and northern Ethi opia. However, w ho specifically were these mummified clergy members? What roles did they play in Ethiopian society before they died? Were all priests mummified, and if not, why were only some selected? Who and why were the adults and children interred with the clergy? What specific methods were used in the mummification process and who perfor med them? During the summer of 2013, 2014 and 2015, extensive reconnaissance surveys and archaeological excavations were conducted. Various specialized bio/osteo/forensic programs such as Fordisc Discriminant, Carbon 14 dating of teeth and isotopic analysi s of hair samples were performed. A total of 221 mummified human remains were examined, with ecclesiastical group mummies representing 63% (141), and the remainder being followers. Male
18 mummies represented 71% (157) and female represented 29% (64) of the total indicating that medieval Ethiopian societies were patriarchal. Monasteries were exclusively reserved for the clergy and elite groups while open burial graves were used for the commoners. The remaining women and other non elite groups were buried in t he open burial cemetery near their local churches. The Fordisc program classifies the crania into Dogon Mali, Egypt Gizeh, 600 200 BC, Teita S.E. Kenya, Bantu speaking, Zulu South Africa, Black, and White. The program barely shows any phenotypic or gene tic distinctiveness of the skulls. Hence, the application of Fordisc to the Ethiopian population is limited mainly due to the absence of representative sample on the forensic data bank Nevertheless the skeletal data is useful if included in the forensic data bank to represent sample population from northern Ethiopia. The isotope samples provided a clue about the overall diet of mummies in north and central Ethiopia, which was predominantly C3 plants, mixed with C4. The results do not reveal diet variation s among the mummies. Carbon 14 dating result was inconclusive due to t he Suess effect. The palaeopathological analyses provide data about the presence of leprosy, rickets and goiter were recorded in the study sites. Another rare age related pathology call ed parietal thinning, which is attributed to non progressive congenital dysplasia of the diploe, postmenopausal and senile osteoporosis progressive disease, and not an anatomic variant (Luk et al. 2010) were documented. Similar bilateral parietal thinning was recorded on YK57 skull only. Mummification is a pre Christian practice, but it has been incorporated into the Christian tradition. Coptic Egyptians might have introduced it to Ethiopia. Monasteries
19 were centers for such mummification practices aimed a t purifying the body and soul. Mental mummification/spiritual mummification represented more than 75% of the mummies found in the study sites. It includes priests, monks and nuns. In Orthodox Christianity, an emphasis is given to the soul rather than the b ody, as the latter is the vehicle to reach the next world. Local people use the relics for spiritual/physical healings. Strangely, mummification is neither officially permitted nor prohibited.
20 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This dissertation u s e s a bioarchaeological and o steological approach to study t he life and death of medieval Ethiopian priests. It is based on the study of mummified human remains found in the Amhara Regio n of Ethiopia dating from the 12 th to the 20 th centuries. Thousands of remarkably well preserved mummified bodies of priests and other unidentified individuals were found in the Debreguad Sellassie (DS), Abune Melketsadik (AM) cave monasteries in central Ethiopia ( Figure 1 1 ) and the Yimrehane Kristos (YK) cave monastery in the north and central Ethiopia ( Figure 1 2 ) H owever, who these mummified individuals were, why they were selected for mummification, what roles they played in Ethiopian society, and what specific methods were used in the mummification process were virtually unknown. This was due to: 1) the absence of scientific studies of previously discovered mummies; 2) very limited archaeological excavations of medieval sites; 3) an overdependence by historians upon the heavily biased wr ; and 4) lack of detailed research on the oral traditions of clergy and the farming communities over which priests presided over. Previously unknown to scientists, the YK, DS and AM mummies were interred sometime between the 12 th and 20 th centuries according to local oral tradition and limited monaster y documents. Therefore, they offer an unprecedented opportunity to conduct systematic inventories and detailed bioarchaeological, a DNA, osteological and forensic analyses of Ethiopian mummies. This dissertation is expected to contribute to 1) a greater und erstanding of the ecological, economic and socio political relationships that medieval priests and other clergy developed with church/secular rulers and
21 commoners; 2) the first Ethiopian mummy database; and 3) government efforts to register the YK as a Wor ld Heritage Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) has been an active player in the spiritual, social and political life of Ethiopians since the 4 th century AD when the Aksumite King Ezana introduced Christianity to th e highland populations of northern Ethiopia ( Finneran 2005, 2009 a, 2013 ; Phillipson 2009; Sergew 1972; Taddesse 1972). During the Aksumite civilization, Christianity expanded within and outside of the kingdom. For example, the Aksumite king, Kaleb, invaded South Arabia to protect the Christian However, the rise and rapid spread of Islam in the Horn of Africa after 702 AD combined with internal social/political challenges and the loss of Red Sea trade routes, contributed to the decline of Aksum. The supposed sacking of Aksum around 980 AD by the Beta Israel Queen Judith ( Yodit Guddit) 1972). With the rise of the Zagwe Dynasty by 1137 AD, Ch ristianity once again became the dominant religion of the Highlands (Finneran 2009, 2012; Selassie 1972; Taddesse 1972). Most of the Zagwe rulers were priest kings (e.g., Yemirehane, Lalibela, Harbe, e their power and wealth (Crummey, 2000). They built magnificent churches to replicate those in Jerusalem and established theocratic institutions that maintained an iron grip over feudal Medieval Ethiopian society for hu ndreds of years (Finneran 2009 b, 201 3 ). One of the earliest priest kings was the YK, who in the 12 th century built a church/monastery in a cave near the ancient Zagwe capital of Lali bela (Anfray 1985; Finneran 2013 ). Drawing upon
22 ancient Ethiopian designs, the monastery is a classic example of the architecture that was to epitomize medieval Ethiopia (Mengistu 2004; Munro Hay 2002; Phillipson 2012, burial tomb. The burial chamber is found at the back of the churc h and completely covered with colorful clothes (Mengistu 2004) and regarded by the local followers as a sacred tomb. The monastery guards, priests, and all the local communities closely monitor the tomb to deter any unintended intrusion. With the demise o f the Zagwe rulers and the rise of the Solomonic Dynasty of secular rul ers in 1270 AD (Phillipson 2009; Taddesse 1972), the EOC was able to maintain its power and prestige by establishing close political ties with the secular kingdoms and through their pri population. The arrival of the Portuguese in the 1540s brought Ethiopia into contact with and marked the end of the M iddle Ages (Crummey 2000; Pankhurst 2002; Phillipson 2009, 2012). Nevertheless, the EOC was able to maintain and even expand its political power, socio economic influence and wealth to the present time, where it still owns or control Pankhurst 2002; Phillipson 2009 ). Priests, just as they did in medieval times, still form the backbone of Ethiopian highland society: they pray for peace, unity and even rain during periods of drought, as well as resolve disputes and preside over important social events from baptisms and weddings to funerals and memorial services (Finneran, 2007, 2009 b ; Phillipson 2004, 2009). In spite of the significant roles that medieval priests must have played in the
23 e stablishment of modern Ethiopian society, knowledge of their everyday activities and relationships with the EOC, secular rulers and commoners and how this relationship with Ethiopian society evolved over the centuries is very limited. Most of what we know about medieval Ethiopian history and culture comes from the Royal Chronicles documents written to serve the interests of the Solomonic ruling classes. Not surprisingly, these materials are limited in scope and often heavily biased (Crummey 2006; Finneran 2 009 b, 2013 ). Furthermore, archaeological data are restricted primarily to the limited excavations that have been undertaken in and around the Solomonic royal palaces of Gondar and surrounding regions (Finn eran 2014 ). Therefore, information on mmoners and lower ranking clergy, including priests, is based almost entirely upon oral traditions, very few of which have been studied by scholars (Finneran, 2009 b 2012; Phillipson 2004, 2009). While conducting a survey of archaeological sites in norther n Ethiopia in the summer of 2012, I became aware of thousands of mummified bodies in the YK monastery and a few mummified bodies in Lalibela as well. Although YK rock hewn churches were well known to scholars, tourists, and pilgrims, mummies remained unidentified (Chapter 7). According to local oral tradition, mummies in the YK were placed inside the cave at various times between the12 th and 13 th centuries. Intentional intervention by local visitors affected the state of preservation and resu lted in the dislocation and destruction of the mummified remains in the cave (Mengistu 2004). The mummies in the AM and DS monasteries in the central Ethiopian highlands were extremely well preserved. Anfray (1985) mentioned the presence of mummies in the area but was unable to verify the number and their state of preservation. According
24 to the priests in the AM, most of mummies were unearthed during the expansion of the cave church. Additional artifacts such as crosses, textbooks and altars were discovered These materials were purposefully buried to save them from the raids of the 16th century Muslim warlord Ahmed Gragn (1520 1543 AD) (Ababu Tekester Berehan). ez script attached to the wrapped mummies indicate they were entom bed between the 14th and 16th centuries. The mummies from the YK, AM and DS caves provide an unprecedented opportunity for bioarchaeologists and other scientists to obtain a broad range of data that can help us answer a wide variety of questions pertaining to the life and times of priests and other aspects of medieval Ethiopian life. Who specifically were these mummified clergy members? What roles did they play in Ethiopian society before they died? Were all priests mummified, and if not, why were only some selected? Who and why were the adults and children interred with the clergy? What specific methods were used in the mummification process and who performed them? The following objectives are designed to answer these questions. Scientific research on preh istoric and historic mummies from around the world has shown that they can provide a wide range of data including but not limited to: sex, stature, pathology, diseases, trauma, kinship, age, diet, the environment, mortuary practices and other activities (A ufderheide 2003; Aufderheide et al.1999; Chamber lain 2003; Cockburn et al. 2003 ; Ikram 2013; Zimmerman 2009). These researches have also revealed that effective extraction of such vital data requires a multidisciplinary approach by scientists with expertis e in CT (Brier et al. 2015; Laitman and Cox 2015; Villa et al. 2015), X ray (Gostner et al. 2013), DNA (Kulvinder 2015), Isotopes (Basha et
25 al. 2016), radiometric, GIS, GPR and other specialized analyses in addition to traditional archaeological, osteologi cal and forensic methods (Ousley and Jantz 2012). While recognizing the need for a multidisciplinary approach, I am also aware of the multiple seasons such research will entail as well as the cost of doing many of the aforementioned specialized analyses. T herefore, my research had to be realistic and limited in the specific research objectives and methodologies employed. Research Goals and Objectives The main goal of this study was to obtain bioarchaeological, forensic and osteological data from mummies of the DS, AM and YK to better understand the ways of life of medieval Ethiopians and, in particular, the social, economic and political roles that priests played in medieval Ethiopian society. This dissertation focuses on the mummies aiming to: conduct res cue excavation in the DS to understand burial traditions of Orthodox Christians. determine status, age, sex and cause of death from mummies in the YK, AM and DS caves explain types and processes of mummification identify evidence regarding the biogeogra phy of mummies in the YK point out issues related to mummy conservation and preservation understand the role of diet in determining social status in ancient and medieval Ethiopia. conduct inter and intra site comparisons with mummification practices in Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea. I planned to carry out stature and age estimation form mummies in the study site using advanced technological equipment but the lack of CT Scan and X ray machines
26 deter such examination. As a result stature estimation from the mummies were excluded. Research Methods Drawing upon fieldwork and laboratory techniques, this study provides crucial information beyond the individual mummy by offering cultural, biological and environmental data. My study further builds on the existing literature by creating a first of its kind database for future studies of Ethiopian historic mummies (Chapters 5 and 6) On Site Data Collection and Analyses To accomplish these goals, I conduc ted the following analyses of mummies at the monastery caves of the YK, AM and DS. A site map was prepared for each cave monastery. An inventory of mummies for each cave was conducted, and extensive digital photos and video images were taken. Contextual ar chaeological data were also collected through a reconnaissance survey and archaeological excavation Osteological, forensic and bioarchaeological analyses were carried out using methods that were as non invasive as possible. Standard morphological criteria and methods established by Bass (1995), and Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994) were used to obtain information on age, sex, stature, pathology, trauma and other variables in order to evaluate evidence for health, trauma, disease and status that could then be us ed to conduct inter sites and intra site comparisons among the sites. Field recorded data were entered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and AutoCAD. Closer reexamination of photos and videos were crosschecked to include missing information. Moreover, hai r, teeth and artifact samples from a representative population were extracted for isotopic and dating analyses.
27 Off Site Methods of Analysis Preliminary analyses of the data were done at the Ethiopian National Museum, Addis Ababa. Carbon 14 dating and is otopic analysis of hair samples were conducted at the University of Florida and University of Ottawa. Various statistical packages were used to analyze the mummy data, including SPSS and more specialized bio/osteo/forensic programs such as Fordisc Discrimi nant. Challenges and Limitations of the Study The significant challenges I encountered include archaeological fieldwork permits, study site accessibility, and permission to collect sufficient samples. Moreover, the lab analysis of radiocarbon dating prese nted yet another challenge, mainly due to the Suess effect (change in the atmospheric concentration) and the wide range of Carbon 14 radiometric dating for modern materials. Attempts were made to overcome most of the challenges encountered during the proce ss of data collection. Nevertheless, some of the following problems were critical and worth mentioning. First, the process of getting a permit is cumbersome and subject to delay. According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Authority fo r Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) grants permits to researcher/s in the area of archaeology and paleoanthropology. The ARCCH guidelines state that the whole process to get a permit takes from one to two months, and researchers are ad vised to submit their application well in advance of their arrival. However, a lack of funding and scheduling conflicts may prevent researchers from applying in advance. Also, ARCCH requires that researcher completes an application form and remit a $20 US application fee to the National Bank of Ethiopia, the only bank the government approved to conduct such a transaction. Applications are then submitted to the Director
28 of ARCCH, who, in turn, sends it to an expert for review. The expert confirms research fe asibility, source of funding, payment of fees, and academic credentials, and upon verification offers recommendations to the director, who then has the authority to grant the permit. While a permit from ARCCH should be the final step in the process, it is only the beginning. Unfortunately, the same process repeats itself at the regional, zonal and wereda levels. The bureaucracy gets even worse when a representative of cultural office at the lower level is not available. In the case of this study, the permit was delayed for a longer period than anticipated, which inevitably resulted in a huge waste of money and time Another challenge that proved even more frustrating than obtaining government permits was getting the EOC permit. To elaborate permits from bot h the government and EOC may not necessarily apply to lower religious institutions, who often claim full autonomy regarding the local church matters. In fact, permits are often disregarded by lower ecclesiastical authorities, who may impose new requirement s, refuse samples, reduce permit days, or deny access to the site. Fortunately, during the 2013 field season, I received permits from both the government and EOC. The ecclesiastical authorities at the AM cave monastery, however, rescinded the permit and gr anted only a three day permit for the research. Therefore, I selected the DS, from previously surveyed sites. However, an antiquity officer of the Mida Woremo Cultural and Tourism Office banned access to the DS. After attempting to gain access to the site for seven days, reported the matter to the ARCCH Director, who responded quickly by sending a letter of protest to the Mida Woremo
29 Woreda Cultural and Tourism Office. Subsequently, a permit was granted to the DS cave monastery. The need for this letter was a testimony to the unnecessary duplication of bureaucracy. Despite many similar challenges, during the 2014 field season, I received a permit from both the government and EOC. However, the EOC hierarchy permit was not issued by the Lasta woreda EOC repre sentative, and a meeting of ecclesiastical authorities was called to discuss the issue. Two weeks later, I was informed that the official responsible for the permit would not return in time to approve the fieldwork in question. Expecting the worst outcome, while waiting for a decision, I conducted an archaeological survey near Lalibela where numerous monasteries were found (Chapter seven 7). Second, even though thousands of mummified human remains are stacked in different cave monasteries throughout the cou ntry, I had limited access to mummies. Since most monasteries are active religious sites, these corpses are considered sacred and miraculous. Consequently, ecclesiastical authorities limit access to mummies. For example, access to the corpses of the AM is restricted due to internal monastery rules. Whereas the federal government permit does not require compliance with the monasteries, it strongly encourages cooperation. Any attempt by government officials to interfere and enforce permits is regarded as an i nfringement on their religious freedom. As stipulated, the monetary permit only allowed me to look at mummies for three days for the purpose of this scientific study. Nevertheless, I was not allowed to touch, x ray, or take samples of any kind. To make mat ters worse, a committee of six individuals was organized by church authorities to ensure proper adherence to the monastery and EOC
30 rules, and it was the responsibility to pay a per diem to each committee member. In reality, this financial burden was impose d to discourage researcher and limit access to mummies. At the end of the three days, I requested an extension, which was denied. Consequently, in collaboration with government and religious officials, I had to investigate the DS cave church to supplement fieldwork data. Fortunately, like the AM, numerous mummies are preserved in the DS cave church. While the excavation of the burial grounds provided valuable clues about the in situ deposit, the bodies exhumed from the site were reburied without any examina tion. Third, sample extraction was another challenge during the multi season field data collection. Formal requests for research samples were a primary factor that strained my relation with the AM cave church involved the. The priests and ministers in the church either misunderstood or deliberately misinterpreted the request. Although several attempts were made to convince them, efforts were unsuccessful. Hence, no sample was collected from either the AM or Lalibela, and the researcher failed to obtain any surface finds for AMS carbon dating and isotope analysis. Therefore, all samples for this study are surface collections from the DS and YK. Also, a major limitation of the study was the sample sizes collected for lab analysis and the difficulty of getting portable X ray machines. The researcher discussed the lengthy bureaucratic machinations with the ARCCH officials. Permit procedures needed structural adjustment to eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic requirements. It is recommended that the ARCCH revise it s guidelines to address the issue. Regional states should not regard direct ARCCH permits as infringing on their power. A single copy of ARCCH permit to the region, zone
31 and woreda would have alleviated regional government concerns and eliminated most bure aucratic obstacles experienced by the researcher. Structure of the Dissertation The structure of this dissertation is organized into eight chapters. Following this introductory chapter, Chapter 2 provides an overview of current research on the history of mummification in Egypt and Nubian. The purpose of this chapter is to contextualize mummies and the practice of mummification in northern and central Ethiopia to the broader regional studies in Africa. Despite the presence of thousands of well preserved mum mies in Ethiopia, scholars have given them little attention, which has created a knowledge gap. As a result, there are few direct studies on mummification tradition from the Horn of Africa, but tapping to major mummification studies in Egypt and Nubia pote ntially provide insightful information. The chapter also explains the origin and practice of mummification in Egypt and Nubia. Given the prolonged Nile Corridor contact, and the Aksumite kingdom territorial aggrandizement to Meroe, the prolonged Christian solidarity between Egypt and Ethiopia could have played a significant role in the cultural exchange. This study revealed that there were similarities and differences between Egyptian and Nubian, and Ethiopian mummification practices. Some of the similarit ies related to the orientation of Pharaohs hand, eviscerations of innards, materials used for mummification and deep rooted Christian solidarity for more than one thousand and six hundred years. Eviscerations of internal organs observed in both ancient Egy pt and medieval Ethiopia, but the meanings attributed to the arrangement of them as well as the ideologies of life after death, were completely different. As a result, it attempts to lay
32 background data useful to carry out a comparison between the northeas tern regions of Africa. Chapter 3 attempts to contextualize the historical, archaeological work done in Ethiopia and Eritrea to understand the role of priests during the ancient and medieval periods in Ethiopia. Priests are closely connected in multiple wa ys with the introduction of Christianity, carving of cave churches, and the mummification practice in the country. Christianity was introduced in Ethiopia in the 4th century during the reign of King Ezana (Sergaw 1972). Frumentius consecrated by the Egypti an Coptic patriarch in Alexandria. Consequently, the EOC was under the hegemony of the Coptic Church of Egypt from 340 AD to 1959 AD (Sergew 1972). The introduction of Christianity consolidated the tradition of monasticism, contributed to the development o f mummification where the ruling class used it as a tool to maintain their power over the majorities of the peasant society in ancient and medieval Ethiopia. Consequently helped to promote centralization and create Christian civilization in Ethiopia and Er itrea. The origin of mummification in Ethiopia and Eritrea was unknown. However, it might be introduced during the early Judaic monastic life in Ethiopia. The practice expanded during and after the arrival of the Nine Saints. Thus, mummies were scattered widely in space and time. Chapter 4 provides a historical background of the cave monasteries and mummies in Ethiopia. The geoarchaeological setting of northern and central Ethiopia are briefly summarized to contextualize cave formation and layout the regional climatic condition, wh ich is crucial for the preservation of mummies. A physiographic setting of
33 the region is also explained to provide background information regarding location, topography and present demography of the study area. The chapter also gives summary background inf ormation about mummies and mummification in the study of the archaeological sites namely the YK, AM and DS. Chapter 5 details the archaeological field methods including pre field reconnaissance surveys, archaeological surveys, and excavations from the stu dy sites. were carried out in the YK, AM and DS, but excavation was only conducted in the DS. Chapter 6 details the bioarchaeological and osteological methods followed by physical anthropological analysis of data presentation of the inventory. A total of 221 mummies documented from the AM, DS and YK cave monasteries. Of the total 221 mummies, 40% were recorded from the YK in northern Ethiopia. The rest 31 and 29% were docu mented from the AM and DS in central Ethiopia. Chapter 7 further details archaeological and lab analysis results to integrate multiple lines of data to carry out comparative analysis. The mummification practice was compared with the Konso mummification tra dition. Additional comparisons about the mummification practice in Ethiopia were carried out with the surrounding Nubia and Egypt. Chapter 8 concludes the dissertation by returning to the outlined objective to explain the data from the YK, AM and DS may re veal about the mummification practice and the role of priests in the medieval Ethiopian society.
34 Figure 1 1 The AM and DS s tudy sites in central Ethiopia: the small red square shows the relative location of the Meragna town and the surrounding area in Mida Woremo district in Northern Shewa: the AM and D S point to narrow strips and forest coverage of both cave monasteries. 836 stairs are constructed to reach to the AM cave monastery. No stairs are constructed for the D S. (Source: Modified from Map hill and Google Earth 2016)
35 Figure 1 2 T he YK study site in northern Ethiopia. Northern Wello is colored in red while the bottom map shows the physical map of the DS, located at the base of Abune Y osef Mountain. ( Modified from Maphill 2016 )
36 CHAPTER 2 HISTORY OF MUMMIFICATION IN EGYPT AND NUBIA Chapter 2 provides an overview of current research on the history of mummification in Egypt and Nubian. The chapter presents previous research results from n ortheast Africa to contextualize mummies and practices of mummification in northern and central Ethiopia to the broader regional studies in Africa. The chapters also cover about cover processes, materials, and motifs of mummification in ancient Egypt and N ubia. Etymology of Mummy and Mummification Previous studies have demonstrated that the term mummy is explained from different perspectives based on the diversity of mechanisms used in mummification to preserve a deceased body. (Aufderheide 2003; Carney 20 09; Chambe rlain 2003; Cockburn et al. 2003 Ikram 2013; Jeremiah 2014; Lynnerup 2007). There is no consensus definition for the term mummy. Common definitions of mummies and mummification are presented below. A mummy is a well preserved human with soft/non bony tissue (Lynnerup 2007, 12). According to Aufderheide (2003) and Chamberlain (2003), it is a body intentionally preserved for a prolonged period. A mummy is also defined as a human or animal preserved body that has undergone an accepted ritual practic e of a given society ( Chamberlain, 2003; Cockburn et a l. 2003 ). The ancient Egyptians ceremonially preserved a corpse with deliberate removal of the innards (lung, intestine, stomach and liver); the body was treated with natron and with linen to maintain t integrity for an extended period (Ikram 2013; Jeremiah 2014). As a result, the soul (ba and ka) could have a body for the netherworld (Maskoud and Amin 2011; Ikram 2013).
37 Barakat et al. (2005), Cockburn et al. (2003 ), and Jeremiah (20 14) point out that the word mummy is deri ved from a Persian word "Mamiya commonly referred to as like substance imported from the Middle East possibly Persia that was used as an ingredient to preserve a body in Ancient Egypt. Nissenbaum (2013) adds that bitumen was an important traded good exported to Ancient Egypt for the purpose of mummification. The first application of the word mummy was in 1615 (Cockburn et al. 2003 ). During the medieval period, it was believed that black corpses covered with a bitumen substance have medicinal values (Nissenbaum 2013). It was thought to have cured Bottcher et al. 2013, p. 1 ). Hence, the demand for mummies for Bottcher et al. 2013, p. 2) and ultimately led to the destruction of numerous mummies. People in Ethiopia also believed that mummies had pharmaceutical ing redients and spiritual healing powers. The local population in the DS and AM thought that eating the part of the body that was believed to possess the ancestral spirit could fight disease or evil. Accordingly, numerous mummies were destroyed and reduced to mostly by turning corpses into skeletons. Mummification refers to the whole process of embalming the deceased artificially or naturally to accomplish a burial rite (Ikram 2013). Natural and artificial mummifications are the two most commonly known forms of mummification. Aufderheide (2003) defines artificial mummification as a deliberate intervention and use
38 of preservatives to preserve a deceased person. The process invol ves eviscerating the internal organs, treating the body with bitumen, and wrapping it in cloth. This kind of extensive mummification was at first reserved only for pharaohs, the ancient rulers of Egyptian. In this dissertation, the term mummy is applied to human bodies whose soft tissue was preserved either by natural or artificial means or by a combination of both. Previous Works on Mummies and Mummification in the Egypt and Nubia Studies regarding mummies were conducted in ancient, medieval, renaissance, industrial revolution and during the modern period. First, the earliest study of mummification based on historical records was from the 21 st Dynasty of ancient Egypt that revealed the ancient Egyptian embalmers, who were believed to undertake mummification studies to perfect their skills, rewrapped royal mummies (Abeer 2010). It is believed that their perfection affects the mummification practice during the Nubian rule of Egypt in t he 25 th Dynasty and later. However, Herodotus and Diodorus, who were ancient Greek historians and philosophers, reported the most popular contemporary studies of mummification in ancient Egypt. They wrote a detailed account regarding embalming techniques u sed by ancient Egyptians (Aufderheide 2003; Cockburn et al. 2003 ; account provides insight regarding bu rial practices, cost variations and mummification techniques. Four centuries after Herodotus, Diodorus wrote about three distinct burial practices in ancient Egyptian society that differed mainly by the cost of mummification: the expensive process, the eap process (Aufderheide 2003; Carney 2009; Cockburn et al. 2003 ).
39 Scholars have carefull y examined and scrutinized the reports of Herodotus and Diodorus. Koller et al. (2005) argue that the data provided by Herodotus regarding the materials used for embalming are similar to their archaeological findings on ancient E gyptian mummies. O n the other hand Wade and Nelson (2013) carried out research which debunks the classical records as unreliable. Their more recent study highlights variability and inacc uracy in classical reports. The practice of brain removal, heart preservation and the use of cedar oil were not prevalent among Ancient Egyptian embalmers, as reported by the studies of Herodotus and Diodorus. Regardless of their limitations, the accounts of Herodotus and Diodor us are still necessary to cross check newly discovered materials and methods. The Greek accounts of mummification help to supplement future studies on Egyptian mummies. Second, studies of mummies were intensified in the medieval era in Europe mainly due to a medicinal purpose of mummy powder. The healing power of the powder might have been related to the use of bitumen, as ancient Egyptian and Nubians used the substance to embalm their dead. The shortage of bitumen or Mam iya in medieval Europe was resolved by the unlimited supply of mummies from ancient Egypt and Nubia. The production of mummy powder led to the destruction a countless number of mummies, which was referred in the study of mummification. Third, the study of ancient Egyptian and Nubian mummies was revived during the renaissance. The classical accounts of Herodotus and Diodorus were sources of knowledge regarding ancient Egypt mummification, mainly to understand the logic behind the ancien t Egypt and Nubian mummies healing power.
40 Fourth, during the industrial revolution scholars from France, Britain and Italy further resuscitated the study of mummification by the French scholars. For example Rouyez, who was a member of Napoleon exped which was the first scien tific work on mummification. O ther notable travelers and explorers who reported about the practice of mummification in Egypt and Nub ia include Guillaume Franois Rouelle, Henry Salt, Augus tus Bozzi Granville and Thomas Pettigrew (Pettigrew 1834). Rouelle examined compounds used to embalm Egyptian mummies. Henry Salt, a British Consul General, in Sudan reported on mummies and sculptures in Egypt and Sudan they paved the way for the exportati on of mummies from Egypt to Britain. Granville pioneered proper medical mummy autopsy in 1825 (Pettigrew 1834). Thomas Pettigrew, the author of a famously unrolled an Egyptian mummy and played a crucial role in elevating the understanding of science, history, art, medicine and archaeology (Pettigrew 1834). Pettigrew, through his antiquarian practices, began to bring greater scientific attention to mummies. These practices, although ultimately destructive, helped to lay the gro und for more modern studies. Fifth, f oundational studies of modern research on mummies began at the onset of the 20th century. Cockburn et al. ( 2003 ) state that the beginning of the scientific studies of bodies coincided with some significant events that facilitated the study of ancient Egyptian s (Chamberlain 2003). Gra fton Elliot Smith, Alfred Lucas and Armand Ruffer laid the cornerstone of mummification studies in Egypt (Cockburn et al. 2003 ). Alfred Lucas, a British chemist, carried out chemical analyse s to determine the substances applied to Ancient Egypt mummies. Lucas contributed significantly to the
41 scientific studies of mummies with his examination of the mummy of Tutankhamun (Hawass 2005). The establishment of the World Mummy Congress in 1995 broug ht attention to mummification studies and facilitated the sharing of hundreds of years of data, which would not have be en possible otherwise (Cockburn et al. 2003 ). The Origin of Mummification in Egypt Egypt and Nubia (currently known as Sudan) are found along the Nile valley in North Africa The practices of mummification are more or less similar throughout the region, as both were politically and ideologically aligned. A summary of Ancient Egyptian mummies and mummification practices follows. Neolithic to Early Dynastic Mummification (c.5000 2686 BC) Discoveries of mummies at Merimda Beni Salama (Heath 2015, p. 13), a prehistoric town, found northwest of Cairo, indicate that Egyptians buried their dead in shallow pit graves. The desert permitted natural spontaneous mummification to occur (Cardin 2015, Taylor 2011). Mummies discovered in a fetal position seemed to imp rove the rate of preservation. The orientation of Egyptian mummies was to facilitate future resurrection (Taylor 2001). The Gebelein Predyn astic mummies also known as the six naturally mummified human bodies, dated back 5500 years. Wallis Budge discovered them in the late 19th ce ntury (Andrew 1984; Cardin 1984; Dunand Lichtenberg 2006). shallow pit burial grave at Gebelein in Upper Egypt (Dunand Lichtenberg 2006, p. 20). The shallow pit grave proved to be an excellent environment for the lifeless body to desiccate and preserve. Dur ing the Predynastic P eriod, before 3100 BC, Egyptians att empted experimentation with artificial mummification by using their knowledge of food
42 preservation. To explain, ancient Egyptian fishermen knew how to preserve their fish. When salt was placed inside an eviscerated fish, it dried quickly. The ancient Egypt ians applied the same technique to their deceased individuals. Even though evisceration of internal organs and wrapping had existed for a long time, this was seldom used, mainly because natural mummification was much more efficient than artificial mummific ation. Artificial mummification was more widely practiced after the Second Dynasty. Shaw (2003) and Taylor (2011) stated that mummies uncovered from Saqqara, Abydos and Hierakonpolis from this period demonstrated the use of resin soaked linen to preserve t redressing the deceased became common practice during the Second Dynasty. The body of King Djer, dated to the First Dynasty, was found at Hierakonpolis and buried with exotic ornament s, a clay mask, and amulets. These interred objects were believed to protect the king in the afterlife. Recent studies by an international team from the British Museum discovered a ne w tomb in Hierakonpolis (Van et al. 2015) w here an ivory statue, clay mask and other artifacts demonstrate the inclusion of objects as part of the fune rary ritual in the Predynastic P eriod. The practice of mummification incorporated material and technical modifications at the end of the Predynastic P eriod. During this time, embalmers also continued to conduct mummy experimentation to improve the quality of mummification. The intention was to attain the highest expected resemblance between the deceased before death and the mummy to enable the soul to recognize its body later ( Van et al. 2015). Old Kingdom Mummification (c.2686 2160 BC) The principle of life after death primarily benefited pharaohs although the idea of life after death informed every aspect of ancient Egyptian society (Shaw 2012).
43 Egyptian embalmers found new and creative ways to improve and perfect the mummification process. The intent was to reflect the power of the deceased over the living. Brewer and Teeter (2008) state that mixing ingredients, such as natron with salt and adding other substances, were exp erimental techniques in the Old Kingdom. Nevertheless, the intended results were not achieved, particularly in removing wrinkled skins deformed body parts and the dark color (Taylor 2001). Embalmers addressed the challenge by refilling the thoracic and ab domen cavities with linen, sand and other materials. As a result, evisce ration became standard practice and the burial position changed from the fetal to the fully extended position. The mummy of Queen Hetepheres I, the mother of Khufu (c.2589 2566 BC) of fered the first evidenc e of known evisceration in the O ld Kingdom (Shaw 2012). The wrapped internal organs were placed in four canopic chests (later replaced by jars). jars were commonly used to preser ve the intestines, lungs, liver and stomach during the time of the Old Kingdom. In ancient Egypt, the heart was the most important organ and was not removed from the body because it was considered the sourc e of human wisdom, me mory, love and emotion. The brain, on the other hand, received little attention from ancient Egyptians; and as a result, was often removed. The practice of execerebration (brain removal) was attributed to the Egyptian ignorance of the brain function (Andre w and William 2012). The embalmer removed the brain transnasally or transethmodnally. Shattered nasal apertures and ethmoid bones discovered provided evidence for this type of removal (Andrew and William 2012; Nigel and Helen 2011). This process was a cruc ial aspect of Old Kingdom true
44 mummification. Jones et al. (2014) mentio ned that true mummification began during the period of the Old Kingdom in Ancient Egypt First Intermediate Mummification (c.2160 2055 BC) The First Intermediate mummification marked the end of body modeling and the beginning and expansion of the cartonnage mask (Aufderheide 2003). A cartonnage, which was a funerary mask, composed of layers of linen or papyrus to covers the practice of desiccation using natron and occasional evisceration of transabdominal removal of internal organs. However, in some cases, the embalmer impregnated the body with liquid to dissolve the on of modeling body typical of First Intermediate Period mummification. Lichtenberg (2006) and Taylor (2011) mention also molding the body into a virtual statue of a deceased individual. Middle Kingdom Mummification (c.2055 1650 BC) The Midd le Kingdom witnessed diversification and expansion of mummification practices, partly attributed to political stability and foreign interaction s with Nubians, the Middle East and the Far E ast. However, mummification was inefficient, and a mummified body seldom survived (Shaw 2000, p. 170). However, mummies of this period were wrapped with bundles of linen sheets to protect the body from external danger. Abdominal evisceration, canopic jars, and amulets were commonly employed. Ventral evisceration was similar to that of their predecessors of the Middle Kingdom. However, canopic jars evolved from a flat or domed shape into anthropomorphic shapes. Amulets were used to beautify mummies.
45 Second Intermediate Period Mummification (c.1650 1550 BC) The practice of mummification during this tim e declined partly because of Hyk sos invasion and rule (Shaw 2012). Cadavers were prepared for burial in a flexed position. The position of the arms varied over time. During this period, the arms were placed straight, or in the Osirian style. Osiris was the god of Egypt and head of the underworld. The position of the arms indicated the social status of the deceased New Kingdom Mummification (c.1550 1069 BC) Duri ng the New Kingdom, mummification practices were standardized and reached a climax mainly with the implementation of innovative styles. The standardized procedure applies to the transabdominal evisceration, brain removal, and war p ping and placing the inter nal organs in canopic jars. Transabdominal evisceratio n was the common form of innard removal. Wade and Nelson (2013) mentioned that eviscerations for elites and men began earlier than for women and commoners. For women, evisceration started during the New during the intermediate periods. T ransabdominal evisceration was conducted by cutting the abdomen on the left side. The ventral incisions contributed to the shift of burial position from flexed to an exten ded position, facilitating remov al of the innards (Wade and Nelson 2013). Brain removal became common practice during the New K ingdom, particularly during18th to 20th Dynasty, (c.1550 1070 BC). Postmortem transnasal brain removal contin ued until the Greco Roman Period (332 641) (Andrew and William 2012). David (2008) and Daunand and Lichtenberg (2006) mentioned the widespread practice of transethmodial and transsphenoidal removal of a brain. The remaining brain tissues
46 were removed using drugs that dissolve d them. However, scholars have not yet addressed what might have happened to the brain after removal. W r apping techniques and decorated canopic jars became emblematic of the New Kingdom Wrapping techniques became elaborate as each body part was wrapped carefully before the entire body was bandaged together. Canopic jars became associated with the four gods of Egyptian religion. Each god was responsible for the innards placed inside his o r her respective jar: Hapi, with the baboon headed jar, was accountable for the lungs; Imsety, with the human headed jar, was responsible for the liver; Duamuter, with the jackal headed jar, was accountable the stomach; and Qenehsenuef, with the falcon hea ded jar, was responsible for the intestines (Taylor 2011). In the New Kingdom, numerous amulets were used to decorate a deceased individual. With the Tutankhamen mummy, for example, more than 40 charms were placed on the body of the king. However, Ushabits a funerary figurine, substituted amulets at the end of the New Kingdom. During this period, ancient Egyptian cartonnage masks also evolved. The oldest archaeologically known mask was dated to the Predynastic Period and gradually developed to mark social status. The higher class used highly decorated gold and blue masks while t he commoners wore the cartonnage masks. Third Intermediate Period Mummification (c.1069 664 BC) The practices of mummification during the Third Intermediate Period were relatively similar to those of the New Kingdom. During this period external mummy be autification became more frequent. The physical appearance of the deceased received signif icant attention to make the corpse as lifelike as possible. The mouth was stuffed with sawdust, linen, butter and mud to protect the face from collapsing.
47 Artificiall y engraved stones were also inserted the real image of the diseased. The Third Intermediate P eriod signaled changes in the viscera, where innards were left untouched. The retention of the innards also suggested that the practice of eviscerating might not have been necessary at this time. The c artonnage case emerged during this period and eventually replaced the wooden mummy boards that had come into use during the New Kingdom and eventually disappeared. External beau tification of the cartonnage cases and mask became a standardized practice for the later periods i n A ncient Egypt. Late Period (c.664 332 BC) During the Late Period, mummification practices were highly simplistic, and mummies were poorly prepared. Althou gh execerebration was abandoned, the practice of transabdominal evisceration continued, and innards were placed in the canopic jars, which were also widely used during this period. However, the jars were not sophisticated as the New Kingdom jars. Greater a ttention was instead given to the external decoration of the cartonnage cases, which were decorated in a sophisticated manner (Taylor 2011). Ptolemaic Period (c.332 30 BC) During the Ptolemaic Period (c.332 30 BC), with the conquest of Alexander the Great and expansion of the Hellenistic custom s mummification took different forms and roles. Taylor (2005) mentions that the removal of the brain was revived during the Hellenistic E ra. Nevertheless, t he use of canopic jars, amulets and wrapping practices evol ved. Painted canopic chests replaced canopic jars. The use of amulets declined. The design of wrapping techniques changed to reflect Hellenistic custom and culture.
48 The principle of life and death that was the central purpose of mummifying the deceased gra dually gave way to the Greek tradition. As a result, the practice of mummification, which was limited to the elite, was extended to commoners, partly to erode the culture of mummification and the ideological meaning attached to it. Nevertheless, the effort of eliminating the Egyptian mummification tradition was not successful. In fact, many ancient Egypti an practices were amalgamated with the Greek and later with the Roman and Coptic era of mummification. The Roman Period Mummification (c.30 395 AD) During the Roman P eriod, the sophistication of mummification practices eventually declined. The expansion of Christianity in Egypt gradually weakened the Egyptian polytheism and the principle of life after death. The Romans also adopted mummification for the high er class es However, the friction between the Hellenistic and the Egyptian culture s caused ideological shifts of mummification from its association with the pharaohs to the commoners. The practice of mummification became commercialized. Consequently, the s piritual dedication cause to mummification gradually gave way to signify ing social status. Thus, the quality of mummification reached all time low during the Roman Period. Nevertheless, external beautification became the primary target rather than mummifyi ng the actual body. Thus, an external appearance of the deceased was detailed and elaborated with geometrical patterns to reflect social status (Dunand & Lichtenberg 2006; Taylor 2011). Coptic Period Mummification (c.395 641 AD) The Coptic Church of Egypt did not officially endorse the practice of mummification. However, the Copts retained the practice until th e 8 th century. E vidence of Coptic mummification were uncovered from Karara, Antinoopolis, Akhmm, Thebes,
49 and Aswan dating between the periods of th e 5 th to 8 th centuries Some of mummies recovered from this period show the impact of leprosy. Similar cases were found in Ethiopia (Chapter 7) Egyptian Copts retained the mummifi cation techniques of the Roman P eriod. Hawass (2000) argues that the rise of Christianity was not a factor for the decline of mummification practice s in Egypt. The practice of mummification was not banned in any biblical text. Rather, the pr actice of mummification declined partly due to the impact of monasticism, where monks denoun ced the tradition. The termination of mummification was often associated with the conquest of Arabs. As a result, the practice of mummification during the Islamic period was rolled back to the beginning, natural mummification, where the body was wrapped wi th a cotton sheet and buried in a shallow grave. The deceased was buried immediately after death, where the body become desiccated and was preserved. Mummification in Nubia Discussion about the origin and historical development of Nubia is beyond this dis sertation. Thus, my focus is limited to mummification practices in the area rather than its genesis. Nubia, located in the present day Sudan and Egypt, found along the Nile corridor was under the control of Egypt during the 23rd Dynasty (c.818 715 BC). Egy ptian pharos expanded the practice of mummification in Nubia. Later, during the 25th Dynasty (c.760 656 BC), Nubia conquered Egypt. As a result, there was no significant change in the mummification practice. Lucas (1914) reported the presence of well prese rved and prepared mummies using bitumen, similar to Egypt.
50 Materials Used in Mummification Maksoud and Amin (2011) have conducted a review of the materials employed in the mummification of ancient Egyptian s to attain a higher degree of preservation for a longer period. Some of the primary materials use d in mummification included frankincense, myrrh, beeswax natron salt, c oniferous resin, cassia, onions and lichen. Aromatic Substances Frankincense, also known as olibanum, is an aromatic gum resin extract ed from trees of the genus Boswellia (van Bergen 1997). Scholars studied frankincense (Evershed et al. 1997; van Bergen 1997; Mathe 2004) focusing on history (van Bergen 1997), archaeology (Evershed et al. 1997), geographical distribution (Ogbazghi 2006), chemical components (van Bergen 1997 and application (Groenendijk 2012; Mathe 2004). Frankincense is economically and culturally valuable product used for medicinal, incense, hygienic, insecticide, cosmetics, perfumery and others purposes (Groenendijk 2012 ; Lemenih 2005; Mathe 2004). For example, frankincense is known in several countries for its medicinal properties and has been used in the treatment of cancer, leprosy, mouth ulcers, and infections. Frankincense was an important trade commodity between Et hiopia, Meroe, Egypt and South Arabia (van Beek 1958). Van Beek (1958, p. 150) reports that the Sabeans controlled and monopolized frankincense sou rcing and trade during the 4th c entury BC. However, the earliest archaeological evidence for using frankincense comes from the Old Kingdom in Ancient Egypt (van Bergen 1997). The ancient Egyptian s also used frankincense for the purpose of embalming mummies (Abdel Maksoud and Amin 2011). The resino us substance also has aromatic and adhesive properties (Hamm et al. 2004).
51 Myrrh is another aromatic gum resin extracted from trees of a particular Commiphora species of the Burseraceae family (Abdel Maksoud and Amin 2011). It comprises the resin myrrh (23 40%), the volatile oil myrrh oil (2 8%), gum (40 60%) and a bitter unidentified component (Hamm et al. 2004, Abdel Maksoud and Amin 2011, p. 138). Ancient Egyptians used it as a fragrance, medicine, and for embalming the deceased. It was imported from Eth iopia (van Beek 1958). Queen Hatshepsut imported herbs, myrrh resin and myrrh trees, ebony, frankincense, and other woods from what was then known as the Punt land (Bard and Fattovich 2013). The location of the Punt was unknown. However, a ccording to Profe ssor Salima Ikram and Professor Nathaniel Dominy research on a mummified baboon in the British Museum, the ancient land of Punt was located Ethiopia and Eritrea ( press release ) ending the debate on the geographical location of the punt Mak soud and Amin 2011, p. 138). It was a valuable product because of its fragrance, which was applied to the bodies during embalming. Hamm et al. (2004) carried out chemical analysis to determine that ancient Egyptians put myrrh on mummies and confirmed the p resent of the substance in Egyptian mummies. Myrrh was also used in Ethiopia to eliminate bad odor, particularly soon after death. Adhesive Substance Beeswax is ext racted from the honeycomb of honeybees. It was imparted to the bodies of ancient Egyptian s during the mummification process to glue deceased bodies together. It also has an antibacterial substance that deters the growth of microorganisms.
52 Serpico and White (2000) stated that beeswax was applied to mummies from the Late Period to the Roman Perio d. The ancient Egyptians preserved mummies more than 6000 years ago by soaking the wrapping material in beeswax (Abdel Maksoud and Amin 2011; Goffere 2007). The Konso people in Ethiopia were also known to use beeswax to mummify the dead bodies of kings or chiefs. The wax served as an antibacterial agent and helped to preserve the body for nine years (Chapter 3) Deterrent Substances Natron salt was used to dehydrate water from the corpse to arrest biological activities and initiate petrification of the corpse (Edwards et al. 2007). Natron salt is the subject of an investigation to understand its role in artificial mummification (Abdel Maksoud 2001; Edwards et al. 2007; Cosmacini and Piacentini 2008). All of the authors agree that the sodium bicarbonate compound found in the natron was crucial to the petrification process and used as a deterrent against body desiccation. Egyptians placed coniferous resins from the juniper tree in to the body to stabilize the soft tissue and arrest microorganism. analysis of Egyptian mummies found traces of cedar wood oil and juniper tree branches. According to Maksoud and Amin (2011), the coniferous resins inc luded pine oil, cedar wood oil, and juniper oil and they reported the presence of juniper cones (Juniperus Phoenicia L.) in ancient Egyptian graves. The application of juniper was more pronounced during the First Intermediate Period. Similar tree branches were used Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) has natural preservative properties and is a scent used for medicinal and spiritual embalming practices. Chemical analysis revealed that cinnamon has been used on mummies since 2600 BC (Maksoud and Amin 2011).
53 Baumann (1960) states that cinnamon was collected from Punt, the land located in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Onions (Allium cepa L) have a chemical substance that can deter the growth of mycobacter ia. Ancient Egyptian s used it for food, medicine and the preservation of their dead. Maksoud and Amin (2011) reported that onions were used to fill cavities. David and Arcbold (2000) noted that traces of onions were found in the eye, ears and nose of Rames ses IV, and from the New Kingdom to the Third Intermediate Periods. Classification of Mummies Traditionally, mummies were class ified into natural and artificial (human) mummification. However, researchers tend to see this typology as a crude and simple cl assification that does not encapsulate and present the whole spectrum of mummified human remains. Variations in mummification processes and temporal limits complicated mummy typology. The ranking of mummification was subsequently revised and extended to f our Scientific Study of Mummies classified mummification into anthropogenic (artificial), sponta neous (n atural), spontaneous enhanced and indeterminate. Later, Jeremiah (2014), who has d one exten sive work on mummies, categorized mummies into four different classes: Class I (natural mummification), Class II (enhanced mummification), Class III (artificial s classification is u sed to improve understanding, to standardize the classification and above all to avoid confusion. Class I mummification refers to natural mummification. Natural mummification defined as the spontaneous preservation of a human body without deliberate human
54 intervention. Natural disasters can sometimes preserve the bodies of humans and animals. Certain extreme weather condition can inhibit decomposition and enhance preservation. Evidence u est regions indicates prolonged postmortem intervals for g lacier mummies. The Iceman and Bog B ody uncovered from Europe best examples of natural mummification (Rollo et al. 2000; Sanders 1995). The Tyrolean mummy disco vered in the Alps Mountains in Italy wa s preserved naturally. The Icem an or Otzal, based upon calibrated radiocarbon dating, was dated between 3350 3100 BC. Mountain climbers discovered the Neolithic shepherd/hunter in 1991 in Hauslabjoch in the Otzal Alps Multiple hypotheses have been proposed regarding the preservation of the Tyrolean Iceman. Rollo and his collogues suggested that snow and ice covered the Iceman's corpse, which then underwent the mechanism of thawing and desiccation (Rollo et al. 2000). Preserved cloth and tools indicated that the man was a shepherd or hunter who was wounded and eventually died. The cause of death was associated with a sharp stone tool cut mark, which was uncovered from the Iceman body. It reveals major arteria l vessel damage, where the Iceman bl ed to death. Some scholars believed that the Iceman was artificially preserved in the lower Alps area and taken up in to the mountains. In contrast, Bahn (1996) argues that the Iceman was naturally mummified in the same way mammot h s and other Ice Age animals were preserved. Guillen (2004) further e laborates that vast deserts in c entral and northern Peru do not allow for excellent preservation. Nevertheless, selected places where there are
55 suitable so il types, mineral content and op timum humidity allow proper preservation of human remains. The largest African desert, the Sahara, and the South American Atacama Desert have conditions that ensure the preservation of organic materials (Gullien 2004). The Great East African Rift Valley a lso permits excellent preservation of organic substances. These show that no single factor determines the rate of preservation. Sites and mummified remains must be analyzed contextually to determine how that environment allows preservation. The dry and ho t environmental condition in Egypt coupled with a suitable soil type s impedes the growth of microorganisms and allows rapid desiccation. Recent studies unveiled millions of naturally mummified human remains in Egypt. Similar environmental and soil types in Ethiopia facilitated spontaneous mummification from ancient times to the present. Many groups/cultures mummified their dead and knew how the local environment would affect the bodies. Class II mummification refers to intermediate mummification, where extr eme weather conditions occurred in tandem with the purposeful exploitation of natural processes to halt internal and external decomposition. Refer to page the scientific study mummies (Aufderheide 2003). Scholars argue that mummification initially mimicked nature. Human or animal remains intentionally or unintentionally left in extreme weather conditions were quickly dehydrated which hampered both internal and external factors that could decay the dead body. Jeremiah (2014) referred Class II as early forms of intentional mummification. For instance, ancient Egyptians used their knowledge of natural mummification to preserve
56 and prepare their dead body for the afterlife. Hence, natural mummification was the cheapest form of mummification, and ordinary people used natural mummification to reduce the cost of artificial mummification (Aufderheide 2003; David 2001; Dunand and Lichterberg 2006; Salter Pedersen 20 04; Taconis 2005; Sivrev et al. 2005). Class III mummification is artificial mummification caused prima rily by human intervention to preserve the body. Recent scholarly work suggests that artificial mummification in Egypt began earlier than previously thought. Jones et al. (2014) report evidence on the prehistoric origin of Egyptian artificial mummification Jones and his collogues conducted chemical analysis of the organic compounds found in funerary wrappings, skin and reed matting materials from a mummy in a Bavarian pi t grave in Egypt, dated to the Prehistoric P eriod (c.4500 3350 BC). Their investigation revealed the use of artifici al resin during this period. This evidence further pushes back the beginning of artificial mummification by millennia. Artificial mummification of human bodies by ancient Egyptian s set the highes t standard. Egyptian mummies, c ompared to mummies around the world, reached their pinnacle during the New Kingdom. However, the practice might have started during the Prehistoric P eriod and subsequently declined with the advent of the Romans and later with the introduction of Is lam to N orth Africa in the 7th c entury AD. Class IV mummificat refers to mental mummification where the process of mummification started during lifetime. Jeremiah (2014) suggests that Christianity and Buddhism promoted and controll ed the or part of the bodies were enshrined and venerated.
57 2014). The mummified remains became incorruptible, and such bodies were associate d with a divine power that performed miracles and kept away the devil. The challenge of developing a universal classification of mummification partly related to the difference in cultural background, motives of mummification and variation in the rate of p reservation Gullien (2004) argues that no single factor may influence the preservation of mummies. Multiple factors govern the rate of preservation. For instance, an extremely hot or cold area does not necessarily guarantee the preservation of human remain s to the point where bodies become mummified. Processes of Mummification Egyptian mummification has attracted the attention of scholars since prehistoric times (Aufderheide 2003; David 2001). The process of mummification in ancient Egypt could be lengthy, depending on the method selected (Aufderheide 2003; David 2001; Dunand and Lichterberg 2006; Salter Pedersen 20 04; Taconis 2005; Sivrev et al. 2005). Herodotus reported in 450 BC Egyptian used the three process of mummification that includes the first, sec ond and third processes. Herodotus reported in 450 BC that the ancient Egyptians often used the second, and third practice The process by which the mummy was prepared determined the quality of mummification. The first process was believed to lity : the most expensive and perfect process of mummification (Aufderheide 2003). The second quality process, on the other hand, was affordable to a higher clergy member, and the third process was the poorest quality process and was used for mummification of commoners. Aufderheide (2003), David (2001), Dunand & Lichterberg (2006), Salter Pedersen (2004), Ta conis (2005) and Sivrev et al. (2005) all elaborate about evisceration and dehydration processes. Most authors agree on the t hree methods of
58 mummification but cannot agree on the process and materials used while embalming the body. Ritner (2005) states that the mummification process was performed with three distinct gr oups: the Scribe, the Embalmers and the Cutter. The Scribe, who was a supervisor, watched over the mummification process. The Embalmer, who was a priest and member of a guild association, led the mummification process and ritual ceremonies. The Embalmer wore a jackal headed mask perso nifying the god of Anubis. The C utter, who belonged to the commoners group in ancient Egyptian society, carried out transabdominal incision on the dead body. The mummification process was continually evolving with the introduction of new methods and techniques. Sometimes mummification w ent through a period of innovation and developed quickly, while at other times, it declined. New techniques were added, and old ones were no longer used There was no perfect or ideal stage of the mummification process throughout the history of ancient Egy pt. For the Egyptians, mummification was just a process to prepare for life after death. The first type of the mummification process is composed of the ten stages described below. The stages presented are categorized in this way to accommodate the work of various scholars who have worked on one or multiple stages. In some instances, the stages overlap, are redundant, or even preced e one another. These stages, never theless, are important for understanding the process of embalming. Stage One The embalmer bu ilt a temporary structure near the Nile River Valley, which was believed
59 es were removed and then, cleaning and disinfecting of the body followed Stage Two The embalmer began a surgical operation on the left side of the abdomen. Herodotus mentioned the use of Ethiopian stone (obsidian) to perform the operation. The surgical procedure aimed to remove the soft organs: stomach, int estine, liver and lung s to avert internal body decomposition (Taconis 2005). Sivrev and colleagues (2005) indicated that the heart and kidney were purposefully left in the body. The heart was intentionally left in the body, for instance, because it was bel ieved to be the place of feeling, sanctity and intelligence and was needed for the afterlife. The removed soft organs were cleaned and disinfected with resins and spices. The evisceration process was a means to attain a greater degree of preservation. The next process was drying; after that, organs were individually wrapped with linen. Aufderheide (2003) mentioned that the embalmer prepared canopic jars fo r the stomach, intestine, liver and lung s Maksoud and Amin (2011) said that the shapes of the lids for each jar were modeled to represent Imsety, Duamute f, Hapi and Qebehsenuef, the four sons of Horus, and the four gods of ancient Egyptian religion. Stage Three The embalmer removed the brain through the nos tril. He inserted a large hook perhaps made of w ood and stone, some authors referred to it as Ethiop ian stone; shattering the nasal and ethmoid bones to liquefy the brain and eventually drain it out. Maksoud and Amin (2011) reported that brain removal was frequently incomplete. Stage Four The embalmer refilled the abdomen with proper ingredients such a s the natron salt, oils and fragrance to arrest internal and external decomposition of the body (Dunand and Lichterberg 2006). Then, the body was soaked for 70 days to
60 achieve the much needed dehydration and preservation of the body. Gradually, as they perfected the process, ancient Egyptians switched from using liquid natron to solid natron to reduce the time required dehydrating the body. Stage Five The embalmer temporarily removed materia ls from the thoracic and abdominal cavities (Siverv et al. 2005). He also monitored internal dehydration of the body. Materials found in the thoracic and abdominal cavities included gum resin, straw and vegetable remains, and sand, which maintained the str uctural integrity of the body (Maksoud and Amin 2011). Stage Six The embalmer thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the body, and added fragrance. Taconis (2005) mentioned that the embalmer used water from the Nile River and alcoholic disinfectant and oil t o clean and maintain the elasticity of the body skin. Stage Seven The embalmer refilled the abdominal and thoracic cavities with permanent ma terials such as myrrh, cinnamon and frankincense. Disinfectants were also applied to deter the growth of microorg anisms (Aufderheide 2003; Cockburn et al. 2003 ; Koller et al. 2005). Stage Eight The embalmer decorated the face, and occasionally the body. The Elaboration of the face and b ody was also done using other decorative materials (David & Archbold 2000). Stage Nine Embalmers put amulets on the bodies. Maksoud and Amin (2011) mentioned that ancient Egyptians used amulets to reflect their religious beliefs in life
61 after death. It w as common practice to place amulets around the neck, waist and limbs at any stage in the mummification process. Stage Ten Embalmers wrapped the mummy with numerous layers of linen and resinous substanc es (David and Archbold 2000). A second layer of linen wrapping was required to separate the internal from the external wrapping. Motives for Mummification Embalming the dead was not limited to the Chinchorros or Egyptians. It is a universal culture practiced all over the world regardless of race, age, ethni c identity or social beliefs (Jeremiah 2014). Jeremiah further explains that the mechanism of mummification is an innate and universal practice performed on every continent where mankind settles (Jeremiah 2014). Scholars have written and developed theorie s about the motives behind mummification. The se motives include a religious belief in life after death, political and socioecono mic power, protection from evil and performing a miracle (Aufderheide 2003; Cockburn et al. 2003 ; Jeremiah 2014; Koller et al. 2 005; Taylor 2001). Jeremiah (2014) explains that religion is a fundamental motive for mummification. Artificial mummification in Egypt, for example, was associated with the religious belief in life after death. The principle of life after death precipitate s the need to embalm the body for future life resurrection for the ancient Egyptians (Taylor 2001). Maskoud and Amin (2011) stated that the corpse must be preserved in excellent condition for the soul (ba and ka) to recognize it and return to its orig inal being. For instance, the dead bodies of the Egyptian pharaohs are everlasting; the body neither perishes nor decays for ages, signifying the religious importance of mummification (Maskoud and Amin 2011).
62 Other scholars have explained the motive for m ummification as the desire to link between this world and the Netherworld. Mummies were also used as a symbol to mediate the underground world with the other world. Eventually, mummies came to be considered as a link between earthly life and heavenly life (Aufderheide 2003; Cockburn et al. 2003 ; Jeremiah 2014; Koller et al. 2005; Taylor 2001). Summary Previous studies have demonstrated that the term mummy is perceived from different perspectives based on the diversity of mechanisms used in mummification to preserve a deceased body. In this dissertation, the term mummy is applied to human bodies whose soft tissue was preserved either by natural enhanced, artificial or spiritual/mental mummification or by a combination of all The local population in the DS, YK and AM thought that having a part of the deceased body associated with possessing an ancestral holy spirit that could fight any disease or evil or spiritual healing of followers. Herodotus and Diodorus reported a contemporary account of the embalmin g process in ancient Egypt. However Wade and Nelson (2013) debunked the report of classical records based on their new findings Regardless of their limitations, the accounts of Herodotus and Diodorus are still necessary to crosscheck newly discovered mat erials and methods. The Greek accounts of mummification help to supplement future studies on Egyptian mummies. T he Egyptian embalming techniques were the most advanced because the process had been perfected by successive dynasties in ancient Egypt. The mat erials employed in the mummification of ancient Egyptian to attain a higher degree of preservation for a longer period include frankincense, myrrh, beeswax natron salt, coniferous resin, cassia, onions, and lichen (Maksoud and Amin
63 2011). Similar materials were used to preserve mummies in Ethiopia. In some areas, transabdominal eviscerations were conducted. Jeremiah (2014) classify mummies into four major classes such as Anthropogenic/artificial, Spontaneous/natural, enhanced mummification, and spiritual m ummification. The process of mummification also varies from region to region. The processes of mummification for ancient Egyptian pharaohs were elaborate as compared to the commoners. Ancient Egypt, Nubia and Aksum were closely connected in various aspects such as trade cultural, religion, and most importantly shared the Nile River for millennia. This prolonged connection possibly facilitates the way for cultural exchange such as the practice of mummification. For example, EOC was under the Coptic Church o f Egypt for more than 1600 years, where the Copts from the 4th to 7th centuries conducted the practice of mummification, which was possibly also extended and expanded mummification practice in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
64 CHAPTER 3 HYPOTHESIS OF MUMMIFICATION PRACTICES IN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA Chapter 3 presents the oral history relevant i n laying the background for the practice of mummification in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The chapter presents the earliest historical, political, commercial and cultural interactions that contributed to the expansion of mummification in the H orn of Africa, particularly in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The chapter also presents the introduction of Christianity to the region and practices of mummi fication in different part of Ethiopia. Sources of mummification The origin of mummification in Ethiopia based on various oral traditions, historica l and archaeological sources is attributed to three different views specifically : the north south hyp othesis the south north hypothesis and the independent hypothesis. First, the north sou th hypothesis posits that the origin of mummification radiated from the north to the south. For example, mummification was practiced in Egypt and gradually due to relig ious, commercial and political contacts expanded to Nubia and further south to Ethiop ia. Similarly, in Ethiopia, the practice of mummification started in the north and extended to southern Ethiopia. This hypothesis aligns with the broader view that civili zation flourished in the north an d then expanded into the south Secondly the so uth north hypothesis contrary to the first view states that mummification started in the south and extended to the north. For example, the mummification practice of t he Konso people in southern Ethiopia might have been a possible center for the origin of mummification and the tradition might have expanded to the north. It aligns with th e origin of humankind where humans originate d from the south and radiate d to the res t of
65 the world. Lastly, the independent hypothesis forwards the idea that the practice of mummification began independently in different parts of the country Traditional sources It worth mentioning first that there are limited sources of information abo ut the origin of mummification in the Horn of Africa, especially in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Traditional sources on the practice of mummification in the region are inconsistent or even contradicto ry, partially explaining why its origin is dubious in the two c ountries However, in the absence of historical and archaeological sources, they are important in laying the background for further research on mummification. Most of our knowledge regarding mummification is predominantl y based on traditional sources, whic h played a crucial role in forming the customary law that was later incorporated into the Kibre Negest (Glory of the Kings). First, the earliest artificial mummification in the country is possibly associated with the introduction of Judaism in Ethiopia. It is stated in the Kibre Negest that Judaism began during the time of the Queen Sheba and King Menelik I. According to early oral tradition, the Queen Sheba traveled to Jerusalem on a religious pilgrimage and bore King Solomon a son named Menelik. King Mene lik I went back to Jerusalem to visit his son (Solomon 2008). As a result, the King declared that the sons of Israelites, including the high priest of the Levites, acco mpany his son, King Menelik I, to Ethiopia. It was believed that Menelik also brought the Ark of Covenant to Ethiopia, which led to the introduction of a monotheistic practice of Judaism (Solomon 2008). Egypt was perhaps the most viable route to travel to the Middle East particularly to Jerusalem. It is possible
66 that the knowledge of mummification was shared at this time and the Levites who accompanied Menelik may have expanded mummification into Ethiopia and Eritrea. Secondly, another historical visit at t he highest level where the Ethiopians might have acquired the knowledge of mummification from Egypt was during their religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem at the beginning of the first century AD. A ccording to Ethiopian tradition, a eunuch who went to Jerusale m via Egypt, returned home and evangelized the people, and could have shared the knowledge of mummification, as it played a role in strengthening the power of the ruling class. The Acts of the Apostles: 26 40 details the encounter of Philip the Deacon and the Ethiopian eunuchan, who was the treasurer of Queen Candace of Ethiopia, when the former went to Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel. The Ethiopian eunuchan met Philip and was believed to be the first to be converted to Christianity (Sergew 1972; Tad desse 1972). Mummification was also practiced in Jerusalem at the time. St. John Chrysotom who lived in the late fourth and early fifth century in his Homily on Pentecost, mentions Ethiopians being present in the Holy City (Jerusalem) on the day of Pen tecost (Sergew 1972). Thirdly, the practices of mummification were known at the time because of the cross cultural contact with Egypt, South Arabia and Asia Minor for millennia. The continuous socio cultural, political and economic connections enhanced th ese practices. The long and uninterrupted contact and the role of mummification in asserting the power of the ruling class might have been reasons to keep some of the Judaic traditions. Sergew (1972) argues that Christianity retained some aspects/elements of paganism and Judaism in Ethiopia, mainly due to the prolonged commercial contacts with ancient Israel, Egypt, South Arabia, Greece and the Roman Empire. Roman merchants, who
67 came to the Aksumite regions, possibly expanded mummification in the region, as Romans and Coptic Egyptians practiced mummification. Fourthly, Frumentius, who was the first patriarch of Ethiopia, might have also learned more about the tradition of mummification from the Coptic Church in Alexandria, as the church continues this pract ice. The story begins with Meropius and his two sons, Frumentius and Aedesius, who set out from the port of Tyre on an expedition to India, but disembarked at a port along the African coast of the Red Sea due to a scarcity of logistic supplies (Sergew 1972 ). Unfortunately, indigenous inhabitants, who were hostile to the Roman citizens, plundered the ship, killed Meropius and captured the two sons (Sergew 1972). Frumentius and Aedesius were spared and handed over to the King of Aksum. They gained the trust o f the King; Frumentius was assigned to be treasurer and death of the King created a power vacuum bec ause his son Ezana was too young to take power. Instead, the Queen mother bec ame regent and asked Frumentius and Aedesius to continue to serve the kingdom until Ezana was old enough take over the role of administration (Sergew 1972). Fifthly, the Nine Saints played a crucial role in expanding the culture of monasticism in Ethiopia. According to Acts of the Saint ( Gedle ), the Nine Saints arrived in Aksum in 480 AD, during the reign of Ella Amidas IV (c. 475 486 AD) and remained there for 12 years (Christopher 2008). The monks fled their homeland as a result of the decision of the Cou ncil of Chalcedon (451) to enforce the notion of two separate natures subsequent years, those who disagreed with that decisi on (later known as
68 or believers in o ne nature of the God Incarnate) were persecuted by the pro Chalcedonian government in Constantinople. Since Egypt was the part of the Empire with the largest number of Miaphysites, many of them fled there. King Ella Amida requested the monks from Egypt to expand Christianity and to establish churches. Based on the request, the Nin e Saints came to Aksum and the K ing warmly received them (Sergew 1972). Lastly, the Royal family of Aksum facilitated the expansion of mummification as a means of cultural solidarity with the Romans and Egyptian s Christianity was partly due to the influence of his mentor and partly his desire to solidify a trade partnership with the Roman Empire (Sergew 1972). Justin (518 527 AD) a Byzantine Empe ror encouraged King Kaleb to ex pand the territory of Aksum to s outh Arabia and later requested military intervention against Dhu Nuwas (517 525 AD). Nuwas, who was the leader of the imyarite Kingdom, prosecuted Roman Christians and attacked the Aksumite garrison (Sergew 1972). Kaleb led the punitive expedition in 525 AD in which he ambushed Dhu Nuwas and asserted Aksumite dominance of the Red Sea trade route (Sergew 1972). Consequently, Kaleb was able to maintain strong trade relations with the Romans and resisted Justinian attempts to impose Chalcedonian Orthodoxy upon Aksum (Christopher 2008, p.123). The Romans also conducted mummification and might have introduced this tradition of to Ethiopia. King Ezana favored and offered trade benefits for the Roman merchants who spread Christianity throughout the kingdom (Sergew 1972). The introduction of Christianity and the expansion of mummific ation by the Roman merchants were possibly instrumental in
69 unifying the kingdom. The civilization of Aksumite reached its zenith during the reign of Kaleb in the sixth century, where Coptic Egyptians practiced mummification at this time Historical sources Historical documents su ch as royal chronicles, letters and church monographs, which are mainly preserved by the EOC are other important source s These documents wer e also susceptible to subjectivity and often tend ed to include the glory of the kings rather than the actual historical event. Nevertheless, historical sources critically examined provide valuable insight. The historical sources of the Queen Sheba are from the Bible and Kibre Negest The earliest source for the Queen Sheba at the beginnings of the first millennium BC is from the Bible (1 Kings 10:1 3 and 2 Chronicles 9:1 12). Nevertheless, extensive elaborat ion has been made in the Ethiopian, South Arabian and Jewish literary traditions ( Mikre Sellassie 2000 ). Kibre Negest is the other historical source that describes the Queen Sheba and further elaborates t he succession of the Ethiopian k ings. As indicated e arlier, King Menelik I was the bloodline t o the Ethiopian royal dynasty The tradition continued, except briefly i nterrupted during the Zagwe D ynasty during 12th and 13th centur ies and all the way to Emperor Haile Sellassie I ( 1930 1974), where the Em pero r included it in A rticle 2 of the Revise d Constitution of Ethiopia 1955 : erpetually attached to the line descends . . without interruption from the dynasty of Menelik I, son of the Queen of Ethiopia, the Queen of S ng the role of oral tradition. The work of Herodotus was another historical source about the practice of
70 the Ethiopians in embalming was superior to the methods of Egypt. The Ethiopian mummy could be seen all the way around that they were preserved in columns of sharp obsidia used in the process of mummification (Chapter 2). Before the adoption of embalming, 2007, p. 70). Based on this account, the practice of mummification was known in Abyssinia. Knight (1836) cited Herodotus and elaborates the location of archaeological and histori explanation. Another historical document that provides clues about the tradition mummification is the Fetha Nagast (the Law of Kings). It is a law that governed the church and state during medieval Ethio pia and elaborates the whole process of accession of the king, appointment and conscription of patriarchs, bishops, priests and deacons. For example, the exclusion of Ethiopian elite bishops was stated in Fetha Nagast as: As for the Ethiopians, a patriarch shall not be appointed from among their learned men, nor can they appoint one by their own will. Their metropolitan is subject to the holder of the see of Alexandria, who is entitled to appoint over them a chief who hails from his region and is under his jurisdiction ( Strauss 2009, p. 17 ). As a result, the EOC was under the hegemony of the Coptic Church of Egypt from 340 1959 AD (Sergew 1972). The Fetha Nagast also describes the embalming processes, noting that treating a dead body is a customary practice d one b y the Disciples of Jesus . if [embalming]
71 were a wrong thing, the faithful would not have done it in the time of th e Disciples and . The Fetha Nagast further elaborates that a dead body must be cleaned thoroughly, furnished with oil and incense. reflects the soc ial status of the priests. Archaeological Source Archaeological sources related to the practice of mummification in Ethiopia are inadequate. Mummified human remains were seldom preserved in the open air sites, mainly due to various factors such as animal, biological, environmental and human deteriorating factors. Archeologists recovered only few fragments of skeletal remains. Human skeletal evidence was recovered from the pre Aksumite and Aksumite periods neran 2009; Phillipson 2009; Phillipson et al. 1995). However, mummies in caves are rarely researche d, as more emphasis is focused on church painting, architectural style and construction of cave. Christianity in Ethiopia and Eritrea As indicated earlier mummification might have been practiced before the introduction of Christianity in Ethiopia. Although Christianity was introduced to the Aksumite Kingdom in the fourth century AD, the religion had been practiced in Ethiopia since a much earlier time (Ser gew 1972). The long standing trade and religious relationship s with Romans, Greeks and Armenians also facilitated the expansion of mummification and the transfer of architectural knowledge leading to the construction of cave churches in Ethiopia
72 (Sergew 1 972). The co ming of the Nine Saints in the fifth century was instrumental in the expansion of Christianity, monasticism and mummification in the kingdom of Aksum. The Nine Saints and Expansion of Mummification The Nine Saints possibly expanded the practic e of mummification Christianity had been expanded and consolidated (c. 350 650 AD) mainly due to the efforts of the Nine Saints and the support of the Aksumite kings. The kings presided over the EOC and the Kingdom (Sergew 1972). The Bishop Minas, who was the first Egyptian, succeeded Frumentius, where the tradition of consecrating of Egyptian Coptic bishops, which lasted for sixteen hundred years, may have played a role in the expansion of the mummification practice in Ethiopia. From 340 to 1959 AD, Ethio pian priests were precluded from being consecrated as bishops (Sergew 1972). In retrospect, the Nine Saints contributed immensely to the expansion and consolidation of Christianity in Aksum (Sergew 1972). There were also other saints who contributed to the construction of ancient monasteries in present day Eritrea, formerly part of the Aksumite kingdom of Ethiopia. The most venerated saint in the country was Abba Libanos, who constructed the famous monastery of Abba Libanos. The Saints also contributed to the advancement of the liturgy and literature particularly through the translation of the Bible into The introduction of Christianity was accompanied by t he introduction of monasticism It also contributed to the development of literature, roy al conversion and amalgamation with the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and was used as a tool by the monarchy to promote centralization and create Christian civilization in Ethiopia.
73 The Development of Cave Monasteries and Monasticism in Ethiopia and Eritrea As explained above, the tradition of monasticism was introduced into Ethiopia with the introduction of Christianity. Thus, Christianity consolidated the tradition of monasticism, particularly with the arrival of the Nine Saints, who played a cr ucial role in expanding the culture of monasticism and mummification in Ethiopia. The pattern of monastic life was divided into communal and private parts. In communal monastic life, possession of private property was prohibited, while in private monastic life, owne rship of assets was permitted. The Nine Saints founded several monasteries ( Table 3 1 ) Abba Pantelewon and Liqanos were advisors to the royal family of Aksum and bu ilt monasteries near the royal court. The rest resided on hilltops and near prominent crossroads along the Aksum Adulis corridor, which were formerly pagan sites (Christopher 2008). The pagan sites were mostly destroyed and converted to Christianity. For e xample, the pagan temple of Yeha, a Sabaean pagan sanctuary, was used as the foundation for one of the oldest Christian churches in Ethiopia. Abune Aregawi, the most respected of the Nine Saints, constructed the famous monastery of Debre Damo on the hillto p, only accessible by a tainted leather rope let down a 55 foot cliff side ( Figure 3 1 ). In addition to the dedication of the Nine Saints, the support of Aksumite kin gs was instrumental in the widespread conversion of Aksumiate to Christianity. The evangelization crusade of the Nine Saints coincided with the height of the Aksumite kingdom. Mummification Tradition in Eritrea The origin of mummification in Eritrea is al so nebulous. The traditional sources
74 (Yihak 2012). According to oral tradition, the Nine Saints, who came at various times between the fifth and eighth centuries to expan d Christianity, may have introduced the practice of mummification to Eritrea. Cave monasteries in Eritrea served as a burial ground for Orthodox followers. It is common to observe mummified bodies in the cave monasteries. For example, Abba Twelde Berhan, a local priest, exhumed 60 mummies ( Figure 3 2 ) sandals and several tools from the Abba Libanos monastery (Anfray 1994, p. 7; Carillet et al. 2009, p. 340). Yihak (2 012) provides insightful information regarding mummies of the Abba Libanos cave monastery. The mummified bodies were wrapped with cotton cloth and then re wrapped with animal skin and tightly tethered with leather cords. Based on the local tradition, Yihak (2012) reported that the Abba Libanos was mummified and may have possibly been among the mummified human remains found in Abba Libanos cave monastery (Yihak 2012, p, 2). The mummies were exceptionally well preserved. According to local oral tradition, the y were possibly mummified during the fifth and sixth centuries (Yihak 2012). However, there was no carbon dating evidence that confirms the oral tradition Mummification Practices in Ethiopia Natural mummification may also have played a crucial role in th e origin of the tradition. Most of the monasteries also buried their dead inside the cave church, which provides an excellent environment for the preservation of the mummies. Evidently, numerous corpses were found in well known monasteries in north and cen tral Ethiopia. Thousands of mummies were uncovered in various monasteries in northern, western, central and southern Ethiopia. No scholarly or oral tradition information revealed knowledge of the presence of mummies in eastern Ethiopia. Mummification was l ess
75 likely practiced in the past in eastern Ethiopia as the region was predominantly occupied by pastoralist societies. Societies such as Afar, Somali, Karayu and others in the region were culturally different from those in northern and central Ethiopia. M ummies in North and Central Ethiopia Mummies in northern Ethiopia. Northern Ethiopia is a place where several monasteries and cave churches were built. Moreover, the natural environment also played a pivotal role in the preservation of mummies. Some of the monasteries include the Debre Damo, YK, Lalibela and Genete Mariam ( Table 3 2 ) The Lalibela rock hewn churches contain numerous catacombs for devout monks and pilgr ims ( Figure 3 3 & Figure 3 4 ) However, during the survey of Lalibela, most of the crypts were empty except the Church of Bte Giyorigis. According to Deacon Sewmehon, mummies of unknown individuals were stacked inside a catacomb and reburied. Access to these mummies was restricted ( Figure 3 5 ) Northwestern Ethiopia is also the home for the mummies of numerous Ethiopian kings. Lake Tana monasteries serve as depositories of mummified kings of the Solomonic Dynasty (1270 to 1974). Bantalem (2004) states that some of the monasteries co ntained mummified bodies of Ethiopian kings. For example, the bodies of medieval Ethiopian kings such as Yekuno Amlak (1270 1285), Dawit (1380 1430), Zadengle (1603 1604), Fasildase (1636 1659) and Bakaffa (1721 1730) were mummified and displayed in glass coffins in Dega Estefanos Church in Lake Tana (Bantalem 2004). Mummies in central Ethiopia. Anfray (1985) reported the presence of mummified remains in numerous caves in Shewa such as the AM, DS and Tseha
76 Michael (Chapters 5 and 6). Similar mummification practices were also found in the Lake Ziway, in south central Ethiopia. Mummification in Southern Ethiopia: The Konso People The Konso people have performed mummification for kings and clan leaders since the 16 th century. It is a common tradition of vener ating ancestral spirits. Formerly, maintained and treated for nine years in the 1980 s and 1990s ( Figure 3 6 ) It was continuously treated with white onions, beeswax, butter, honey, frankincense and other materials. However, because of an extended peri od of drought and the high cost of months, with each month representing a year (ARCCH 2009), The burial process is associated with various stages of rituals whereby, when the dead ritual leader is followed to his grave, the new is initiated (ARCCH 2009, p. 38). The Konso people are also traditional grave markers, using wooden statue (Waka) and erected stone (Daga diruma) burial indicators. The Waka, an anthropomorphic wooden s tatue, carved out of juniper mimicking the deceased, is erected as a grave marker. For example, the ritual chief Kala Wolde statue ( Figure 3 7 ) The statue has a clearly marked head, eyes, ears, mouth and genital organs. However, the Waka is also engraved and erected for the living chief priest, called the Bamale and his living wife ( Figure 3 8 )
77 Summary The origin of mummification in Ethiopia based on various oral traditions, historical and archaeological sources is attributed to three different views, specifically: the north south hypothesis, the south north hypothesis and the independent hypothesis. First, the north south hypothesis posits that the origin of mummification radiated from the north to the south. Ancient Egyptians prolonged religious, commercial and politic al contacts facilitating the way for the extension of the mummification practice into the Nubia and further south to Ethiopia. Similarly, in Ethiopia, the practice of mummification started in the north and extended to the southern Ethiopia. This hypothesis aligns with the border view that civilization flourished in the north and then expanded into the south. Secondly, the south north hypothesis, contrary to the first view, states that mummification started in the south and extended to the north. It aligns w ith the origin of humankind where humans originated from the south and radiated to the rest of the world. Lastly, the independent hypothesis forwards the idea that the practice of mummification began independently in different parts of the country. The in troduction of Christianity, the development of monasticism and the practice of mummification were closely interrelated in Ethiopia. Sergew (1972) argues that Christianity retained some aspects/elements of paganism and Judaism in Ethiopia mainly due to the prolonged commercial contacts with Biblical Israel, Egypt, South Arabia, Greece and the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, Abune Selama introduced Christianity in the 4 th century during the reign of King Ezana. Christianity had been expanded and consolidated durin g Aksumite civilization mainly due to the efforts of the Nine Saints and the support of the Aksumite kings, who may have played a role in the expansion of mummification in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
78 Cave churches and the carving of monasteries were introduced during the Aksumite civilization and later flourished during the Zagwe Dynasty, particularly throughout the reigns of the YK and Lalibela (Mengistu 2004). Diverse views have been expressed regarding the architectural styles. Monasteries are places of peace and power, where mummification is a practice of preserving memories of deceased individuals to shape the social cultural, political and religious landscape of medieval Ethiopian societies.
79 Table 3 1 T he names of the saints, p lace of origin and the monasteries they founded in differe nt part of the Aksumite Kingdom. Source Ethiopian Orthodox Church Saints Name Place of Origin Founded monastery Description of monastery location Abba Liqanos Constantinople Debra Quanasel East of Aksum, beyond the plateau of May Qoho. Abba Pantelewon Constantinople Abba Pantelewon Near Aksum on the pagan temple of Mahrem, in Tigray Region Abba Gerima Constantinople Madara Adwa /Abba Gerima 5 kilometers east of Adwa in Tigray Region Abba Guba Cilicia Endabaguba Adwa in Tigray Region Abba Zemika'el Aregawi Constantinople Debre Damo Between Adwa and Addigrate in Tigray Region Abba Afese Asia Minor Yeha, Built near Adwa and the served as a tower of the Aksumite period, Tigray Abba Tsehma Antioch Sedenya Tigray Region Abba Matewos Syria Debre Libanos Eritrea Ham Table 3 2 Distribution of mummies in Bugna and Last Woreda of Northern Wello and Mida Woremo of Northern Shewa. Source: Mida Woremo and Lasta Woreda Cultural and Tourism Bureau Mengistu 2004 and Anfray 1985 Type of cave monasteries in and Wello Number of Cave monasteries with mummies Northern Wello Northern Shewa Built up cave 5 5 Semi Monolithic 13 3 Monolithic 3 1
80 Figure 3 1 The Debre Damo monastery, the height is 25 meters and only men access it The monastery also host several mummified human remains Photo credit: Tigray C ultural and Tourism Bureau 2015
81 Figure 3 2 M ummies discovered from the Dabre Libanos monastery i n Ham, Eritrea. The mummies belonged to divers e social status. The most visible three mummies from right to left show a Follower (placed hand on the genital), t he middle was a priest (hand crisscrossed over the chest) and the last was a monk as the head tilted down and hand placed on the ear Photo Credit: Yihak 2012
82 Figure 3 3 T he Beter Giyorigis rock hewn church, World Heritage site, and shows representative catacombs and hosted the last mummified human remains. The cranial and upper postcranial parts of mummies were significantly damaged Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
83 A C B Figure 3 4 C ataco mb in Lalibela rock hewn Church. A) It was used as prayer and burial place for religious and church officials. All mummies in these and other catacombs were removed and reburied, except one. B) Unidentified and unknown mummified human remains in Bete Giyorigis. C) The relative size of the cataco mb is about 2.5 by 1.5 meters. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
84 Figure 3 5 Tourists visiting the site of YK during f ieldwork. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
85 Figure 3 6 (eight years after his death) in the Kala forest (photo taken from the photo framed by Kala Gezeahegn) Photo credit: Abiyot 2008
86 Figure 3 7 W ooden anthropomorphic statue erected in 2002 for the Waka of Kala Wolde Dawit who was the ritual chief or Poquola of Gamole, Gocha and Mechelo paletas Photo credit: Abiyot 2015
87 Figure 3 8 A nthropomorphic statues depicting the living ritual chief priest called the Bamale and his wife. The zoomorphic wooden statue of l a eopard in front of Photo credit: Abiyot 2015
8 8 CHAPTER 4 ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON CAVE CHURCHES AND MUMMIES IN NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ETHIOPIA Chapter 4 focuses upon geoarchaeological, physiographic and built up and rock hewn church in north central Ethiopia. The geoarchaeological setting of northern and central Ethiopia are briefly summ arized to contextualize cave formation and layout the regional climatic condition, which is crucial for the preservation of mummies. A physiographic setting of the region is also explained to provide background information regarding location, topography an d present demography of the study area. The archaeological survey in the surrounding sites coupled with the study site map ( Figure 4 1 ) was explained to provide basel ine data for this dissertation and other studies. Bioarchaeological and Geoarchaeological Studies Ethiopia is endowed with numerous natural and artificial caves, where thousands of extremely well preserved mummies are found. However, there is no bioarchae ological work on the mummies/mummification practices particularly from northern central Ethiopia. Human skeletal evidences were recovered from pre Aksumite Phillipson 2009; Phillipson et al 1995). These human skeletal bones were barely preserved. Thus there is no evidence of mummified human remains recovered from pre Aksumite and Aksumite archaeological site. However, after the 4 th century there is some archaeo logical evidence of mummies in northern and central Ethiopia G. Mengistu, who conducted extensive work on the YK site, affirms the presence of numerous mummies in the YK. He calls for further geoarchaeological and bioarchaeological investigation to further unders tand the cave environment, to identify the contribution of soil in the preservation of mummies, the biogeography of the
89 mummified human remains in the YK cave monastery and the historical archaeology of the Zagwe Dynasty. These kinds of study require multi disciplinary research that cuts across the various field of study. Similarly, Butzer (2008) also stresses the need for multidisciplinary research such as geoarchaeology to reconstruct past ways of life. Accor ding to Butzer (2008, p. 402), g eoarchaeology is a new field of cross disciplinary research aimed at reconstruct past ways of life using geological, environmental and archaeological data. Butzer further explains that researchers must understand the challenge of extracting data using cross disciplinary s ubjects (e.g., mummified remains). For example, archaeologists preferred cave sites, as they were believed to be the same token, most of mummies in the YK, AM and DS were d isturbed and found in their secondary deposition where most of the contextual archaeological data were lost forever. However, the nature of deposition, physical, chemical and biogenic factors could alter the archaeological or bioarchaeological remains. The refore, understanding the geological, environmental, biological and cultural factors are crucial to overcoming them, and interpreting the data. Thus, mummies in these sites provided extensive bioarchaeological and osteological information. These caves have attracted geoarchaeological research in northern and central Ethiopia (Abbate et al. 2015; Asfaw 2002; Billi 2015; Butzer 2008; Ciampalini 2012; D'Andrea et al. 2008; Darbyshire et al. 2003; Fattovich 2010; Finneran 2009; Mengistu 2015, 2004; Nyssen 2004; Oba 2014; Phillipson 2009; Rezulli et al. 2011). Numerous geological studies were conducted to understand the geoarchaeology of northern and central Ethiopia, particularly cave formation (Abbate et al. 2015; Asfaw
90 2002; Billi 2015; Butzer 2008; Ciampalin i 2012; D'Andrea et al. 2008; Darbyshire et al. 2003; Fattovich 2010; Finneran 2009; Nyssen 2004; Oba 2014; Phillipson 2009; Rezulli et al. 2011). Most of the caves in the northern Ethiopian pl ateau are composed of volcanic basalt and the r hyolites formed between the Oligocene and the Miocene (Rezulli et al. 2011). Asrat and Ayallew (2011) and Billi (2015:5) identified the presence of tholeiitic lava, basalts rock, rhyolitic trachytic lavas and pyroclastic rocks in central and northern Ethiopian highlands a nd suggested these rock types are convenient for the cave formation. The most common type of rock found in the study sites includes scoriaceous basalts, breccias, and rhyolites ignimbrites. For example, Yemirehane Christos church is constructed in a natura l basaltic cave (Mengistu 2004). Asfaw (2012) suggests that rock type is a major factor in the selection and carving of caves in Ethiopia. He concludes that builders of the rock hewn caves had knowledge about the rock types. In early monastic life, priests monks, and nuns intentionally selected natural caves to prepare catacombs both for living and later for burial. Sometimes, they tended to hack a single solid rock to make monolithic and semi monolithic cavers (Chapter 3). Geologic formation is also impo rtant for the creation of the soil type in the cave that facilitated a way for the preservation of mummies. For example in the AM cave monastery, there was a mummy where the cranial and substantial postcranial body parts are preserved but the leg of the mu mmy was decayed. The local people and living priests state that it is God miracle and testimony that Abune Melke Tsadik, who is buried in the church, will not decay. Coincidentally, the decayed part is outside of the church boundary. Dr. Derese, a resear cher from Debre Berehan University,
91 hypothesized three possible reasons: the tradition of mummification, chemical composition, and environmental factor for either preservation or decomposition of the were preserved due to a unique burial traditional practice, where a deceased individual was buried on his head first (upside down). However, the hypothesis was not based on archaeological or historical findings. Understanding of the cave environment is important for the preservation of the mummies. Although various scholars most have attempted to reconstruct the environmental history of northern Ethiopia, most of them focused in Pre Aksumite and Aksumite areas (Ba rd et al. 2000; Brandt and Nanny 1987; D'Andrea et al. 2008; Darbyshire et al. 2003; Fattovich 2010; Nyssen 2004; Oba 2014; Phillipson 2009). Bard and her collogues concluded that the climate and vegetation of the region changed over time. This change over time was summarized in the seven points below (1) the plateau experienced a more humid climate with a denser vegetation cover during the Early Holocene; (2) Soil erosion due to clearing vegetation began in the Middle Holocene; (3) agricultural activity w as intensified in the Late Holocene, as a consequence of the rise of a state; (4) demographic pressure increased from the early first millennium BC to the mid first millennium AD, causing soil erosion; (5) environmental degradation and demographic decline occurred in the late first millennium AD; (6) the vegetation cover was regenerated in the early second millennium AD; and (7) progressive vegetation clearance started again in the second ha lf of the second millennium AD (Bard et al. 2000, p. 65). Bard expl ained that the gradual environmental change over a long period in the region resulted in drought and a multitude of socioeconomic crises. Consequently, the environmental challenge was a factor in the decline of Aksumite civilization and Zagwe Dynasty. Alth ough the climatic factor was responsible for the collapse of the civilization,
92 it also provided an excellent condition for the preservation of mummies in the cave sites in northern and central Ethiopia. Understanding the climate and vegetation within the s tudy area helps to answer questions about the type of preservation. According to the National Meteorology Agency (NMA) of Ethiopia, the study region is divided into five climatic zones namely: very cold, cold, cool, moderately warm and warm (NMA 2016). The AM and DS study sites belong to the moderately warm climatic zone, but the YK very belongs to cold climatic zone. One of the fundamental factors for the preservation of the mummies is the climatic condition. The environment in the caves oscillates from se ason to season. However, the alternate variation warm and cold during day and night respectively facilitated the preservation of mummies. Physiography of Northern Wello and Shewa Zones The geographical location of Northern Wello and Northern Shewa is with in the Amhara Region in Ethiopia ( Figure 4 1 ) In Northern Wello, Mount Abune Yosef, 4260 meters above sea level (MSL), is the highest mountain in the Lasta massive o f the Northeastern Ethiopian highlands. The highest concentration of cave churches is found in the Lasta massive, namely: the YK, Genete Mariam, Emakina Medhane Alem, Lidetta hewn churches. All of these monasteries contain mummified human remains. However, the remains are poorly protected from imminent destruction. Only in Genete Mariam, where a mummy was placed inside coffins sealed with glass. The date of these mum mies is unknown. Further south in Nort hern Shewa, Mount Abuye Meda, (4012 meters above sea level) is the highest point in the western escarpment of the Great East African Rift Valley in Central Ethiopia. The rugged topography and valleys add serenity and beauty
93 to the region. The natural narro w land bridge found in Mida Woremo District played a pivotal role in connecting Central Ethiopia with northern Ethiopia ( Figure 4 2 ) The AM and DS caves are found on the northern side of the land bridge. The rugged topography and valleys created by Blue Nile tributary, Jamma River, dissect Northern Shewa from Southern Wello. Acquiring Northern Shewa and Northern Wello demographic data for a contemporary medieval period of the study is difficult due to the absence of official population census data. However, providing a brief overview of current demographic information of the zones could shade light on past population demography and cultural landscape. The population of Northern Shewa and Northern Wello is 2,131,857 and to Amhara ethnic group, spea k s the Amharic lan guage and practices Orthodox Christianity Previous research on the Development of Cave Churches in Ethiopia Ethiopia is a land where numerous cave churches and monasteries have been discovered (Asrat 2002, Mengistu 2004, Finneran 2013, Phillipson 2012); most are burial grounds and host several mummies. However, the genesis of cave churches a nd monasteries is unknown. Undoubtedly, however, some of the cave churches were built for the kings as their final resting places. For example, the burial tomb of the YK, AM omb is built like a tent on the right side of the church within a cave. Similarly, the tomb of King Lalibela is found in Bete Golgotha hewn from the rock as a cave (Chapter 4). Francisco Alvarez documented the landscape and site preservation of the Lalibel a and YK. However, due to site inaccessibility and reported the presence of
94 several thousand of mummies in the YK, few studies were conducted until the second half of the 20 th century. Research published on cave churches in Ethiopia since the 1960s barely mention thousands of mummies in the caves that were studied. The large volume of published studies describes the role of art history and architectural history of the prominent rock hewn churches (Lepage 1997; Gervers 2003), iconography and liturgy (Fri tsc h 2008), geology (Asfaw 2002, 2009; Asfaw et al. 2012,) and archaeology (Phillipson 2009, Finneran 2012). The majority of the works was focused on Lalibela rock hewn churches. Some scholars (Anfray, Phillipson, and Finneran) made reference to the mummified human remains staked in the cave. They were not thoroughly researched. Francis Anfray undertook the earliest comprehensive survey and description of cave churches in Ethiopia from the 1960s to 1980s (Anfray 1985). He reported the distribution of cave chu rches found all over the country: stretching from Mariam Debre Tsina near Keren in Northern Tigray, and west to Gojjam, to the east in Afar, to Abbo Washa near Goba in southern Ethiopia, and Washa Mikael in Jimma in southwest Ethiopia. He reported the dist ribution of cave churches and the presence of mummies in northern, northwestern and central Ethiopian cave churches (Anfray 1985). Asrat (2010), Finneran (2007 and 2009) and Mengistu (2004) state that a high concentration of cave churches is found in Tigra y, Wollo and Shewa, of which the highest intensity is in Tigray (Asrat 2010; Finneran 2007 and 2009). However, the priority of this research was given to the rock churches origin and architectural style
95 than the mummies. As a result, the practice of mummif ication and mummies were largely excluded from the studies. Mengistu (2004) presents a summary of indigenous (autonomous) or foreign views forwarded to explain the origin of rock churches in Ethiopia. Mengistu (2004, p. 58) argues that the role of the Sain cut well respected desert fathers in Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor. The main reasons for constructing the cave churches we re as burial graveyards, as symbolic expression and to develop the culture of asceticism. The construction of rock hewn churches and the use of natural caves had a symbolic value as the builders 004). In the New Testament, Christ was buried in a rock tomb, as indicated in Mathew as follows: Joseph had taken the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock. (Math. 27, p. 59 60). Caves have also symbolic associations with Old Testament prophets, with St. John the Baptist, and with the epi sode of Lazarus (John 11:38 41) where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Jesus entered the cave to see the tomb Take away the stone Lazarus, Lazarus came out but his body was wrapped with linen cloth es. Some scholars (Gerster 1970; Hancok 1997) argue that the architectural design of Ethiopian rock hewn churches reflected the Eastern Orthodox cave churches of the Greeks, Romans, Arme nians, Syrians or Egyptians. The prolonged socio economic and religious ties are often provided as a cause for the adoption of the Classical or Oriental style. The construction of the rock hewn churches in northern Ethiopia is partly
96 attributed to the infl uence of foreign architectural design and construction (Gerster 1970). The elegance, precision, durability and magnificent beauty of cave churches are beyond the capacity of the knowledge of native builders (Hancok 1997). Therefore, ancient and medieval Et hiopian kings imported experts or received welcomed voluntary experts from foreign countries to construct the rock hewn churches. In contrast to the view of foreign influence, some scholars (Ayalew 2003; Buxton 1947; Mengistu 2004) argue that rock churche s in Ethiopia are indigenous. The architectural styles of the cave churches reflect the socio cultural, political and religious life of Ethiopians. Indeed, the builders of the cave churches took ideas from the Bible and also visited Oriental Cave Churches. For instance, King Yemirehane Kristos, who built a cave church named after him, travelled to Jerusalem and Egypt. He had the first hand knowledge of the cave churches in Golgotha and mummification. Later, King Lalibela constructed the eleven rock hewn ch urches in the Christian Highland Kingdom as recreations of those in Jerusalem. They became a world herita ge site in 1978 These magnificently curved rock hewn churches were constructed over a long period. The builder used very elementary tools to carve out and build the rock churches and catacombs where the mummified individuals were buried. According to Buxton (1947) and Mengistu (2004), rock churches are broadly classified into three major types: Built up Caves, Semi monolithic Rock hewn, and Monolithic Rock hewn. Additionally, Anfray classified the rock churches into six categories. For the sake of this dissertation, it is sufficient to classify them into Built up Cave churches and Monolithic Rock hewn churches. Mummified human remains have been discover ed in both. The first types of churches were ordinary buildings constructed
97 inside a cave to minimize the impact of natural and human intervention. The majority of rock churches belong to the built up cave type. The YK, AM and DS monasteries included in th is study, are Built up Cave churches. Rock hewn churches are further classified into two types: monolithic and semi monolithic. The former are carved out of a single solid rock from top to bottom. The basement is the only attachment to the solid rock. The most well known monolithic churches include Bete Mariam, Bete Medhane Alem, Bete Amanuel, Bete Giorgis, Genete Mariam and Kenkenit Mikael. These churches are depositories of mummies. In each church, catacombs were built to serve as a burial ground for hig her status members of the clergy. Semi monolithic rock hewn churches are found more frequently than monolithic cave churches. Although the church is hacked from single solid rock, part of it is not completely separated from the solid rock. The degree of a ttachment may vary in thickness/size and angle, hence, called semi monolithic churches. Many of the Lasta Wereda rock hewn belongs to this type. Semi monolithic cave churches include Arbatu Ensesa, Bilbala Giyorgis, Asheten Mariam, Sarzina Mikael and some of the Lalibela rock hewn churches. Most of the archaeological and historical research in north and central Ethiopia at best mentioned the presence of mummified human remains and provided little description about the general situation of the mummies; at worst mentioned nothing about even the existence of mummies in the caves. Phillipson (2004) called for further research and a new methodological approach to studying the post Aksumite era.
98 The extraordinary preservation and the long history embedded within the material culture provide invaluable insight into the little known part of medieval Ethiopian history. Data about post Aksumite archaeology remains were scarce. Most of the archaeological and biological research focused on or before Holocene period. Ev en the archaeological and environmental research conducted during this period concentrated on the Pre Aksumite and Aksumite periods (Finneran 2012, 2009). As a result, the post Aksumite period was given little attention in reconstructing the historical arc haeology of m edieval Ethiopia. David Phillipson (2004) invokes the methodological challenge for the paucity of post Aksumite archaeological knowledge in northern Ethiopia. He explained that, for instance, the style, technique, engineering and religious pra ctices in medieval cave churches are the continuities of Aksumite civilization. The socio cultural and religious aspects of the two dynasties demonstrate more continuity than discontinuity. The civilization of medieval Ethiopia is inseparable from it s pred ecessors. As a result, post Aksumite historical archaeology has been lumped to the Aksumite period. However, recently there has been a shift of focus to study the post Aksumite period. It is important to note that all the archaeological work done in these periods provided immense knowledge about the past way of human life and are a foundation for future archaeological endeavors. Some of the major studies done in Lalibela and the surrounding region mainly focused on the rock hewn churches (Finneran, 2009). I n recent years, researchers have struggled with reconstructing the history of medieval Christian highland Ethiopia. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the post Aksumite period.
99 Archaeological Survey and Study Sites Mapping In 2012 and 2013, archaeological surveys have been conducted in central and northern Ethiopia (Chapter 5). The survey carried out in northern Ethiopia includes the YK, Lalibela and the surrounding areas. Additional archaeological surveys were carried out in central Ethiopia to include the AM, DS and Tseha Michael Cave Monasteries, and Kara Meshige Fort. These monasteries are home to hundreds of mummified human remains. The date and social status of these mummified individuals were unknown. However, according to oral traditio n, they were mummified and entered into the monasteries between the 13 th and 16 th centuries AD. The archaeological excavation of the YK caves church is explained below. Tseha Michael Cave Monastery Tseha Michael is the most inaccessible site, located east of the AM cave monastery. The local people used a narrow gorge to access the site and the surrounding areas. Although people traveled through the open narrow tunnel, there is a potential threat from avalanche of pebble rocks that might be triggered either by natural or ar tificial factors ( Figure 4 3 ). The site was briefly surveyed in the summer of 2013. There were hundreds of mummified remains in the cave, but these were mostly broken and commingled This cave is the longest and deepest where during the survey, I observed several granaries, deposited charcoal, fossilized logs, thick aeolian deposits ( Figure 4 3 ). Dr. Brehane Asfaw led ARCCH researc h group to the site and reported the presence of fossilized woods, modern granaries and mummies in the Tseha Michael cave monastery (ARCCH Field report 1989).
100 Kara Meshige Fort The foundation of both churches goes back the medieval Christian Highland King dom of Ethiopia. Most of the churches and monasteries in medieval Ethiopia used inaccessible caves to reduce the danger of war. Numerous cave churches in Semen Shewa were constant targets of war. Material culture evidence of war still exists in Semen Shewa Kara Meshige fort is 4000 meters length and 3 meters height ( Figure 4 4 a ). It is constructed along the narrow land bridge that connects Southern Wello with Northern Shewa. This fort is material evidence regarding the wars fought for centuries According to the oral tradition, Kara Meshige garrison was constructed during the reign of Judith (Yodit), the Beta Israel queen, who was the one of the adversary of ancient Aks um. The oral tradition further states that the fort was constructed with countless numbers of human fingers. However, the reason was unknown. It was constructed along the narrow land strip that divides the Northern Shewa from Southern Wello ( Figure 4 4 b). It was the battleground of four major Ethiopian wars namely: Yoddit Guddit, Christian Highland and Muslim Lowland (Ahmed Garagn), Ethio Italian, and Derg Woyane. The YK Cave Monastery The YK is located in Lasta Wereda of Semen Wello of Amhara Region in Ethiopia. The site is approximately 717km north of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia and 42km northwest of the Lalibela rock hewn church. The altitude of the church is about 2681 meters above sea level at the foothill of Abune Yoseph Mountain, whic h is 4190 masl The YK monastery protected an estimated 60 hectares of forest area. The Google Earth Satellite map shows designated forest and degraded landscape
101 surroundi ng the area. Some of the endemic forests include Koshela (Acanthus sennii), Kushelie (Echinops ellenbeckii), Ashenda (Kniphofia foliosa), Jebra (Lobelia rhynchopetalum) and Chirera (Euryops pinifolius) ( Figure 4 5 ). The protected church forest was justified primarily for religious reasons. Followers internalize oral traditions and different psalms of Bible quotations and abide by the monastery or church rules where ever ything inside and surrounding a church/monastery is regarded as sacred. Therefore, forests in and around their premises have been preserved for generations. According to the local information, materials used for the preservation of mummies were extracted f rom the forest (Chapter 7). Mengistu refutes the idea that the construction materials for the YK Church were from Egypt and Jerusalem. He believed that the wooden materials were from the local forest and the stones were from nearby quarries sites in the Te keze River. Hence, there was a close resemblance with the Tekeze sandstone (Mengistu 2004). The YK is a built up cave church constructed in the 11th century during the Zagwe Dynasty. Church monographs indicated that the church was constructed during the re ign of the DS between 1087 1127 AD (Mengistu 2015). It epitomizes the Aksumite civilization because the church was built of the Aksumite wood and stone constructio n style ( Figure 4 7 ). The projections and indentations, characteristic of the Aksumite architectural style, are reflected the internal division (Mengistu 2004). The external wall is plastered with wood and stone alternatively (Mengistu 2004, for further explanation of the internal elaborated woods and murals). The YK church reflects the architectural style of the Aksumite period. It was constructed using timber woods and white plastered stones, alternatively. The wall is
102 divided by projections and indentations to perpetuate Aksumite architecture (Mengistu as an active religious site continuously used for a spi ritual purpose. Thousands of mummified bodies of priests and other unidentified individuals were found in the YK. Most of the mummified human remains were skeletonized and commingled ( Figure 4 8 ). The mummies were relocated from their original burial places to expand the cave church. Most of the mummies were commingled and stacked at the back of the cave. I prepare d an archaeological site map for the YK cave monastery site. An unimpressive wall protects exterior part of the cave monastery. Measurement of the total cave area and the relative distance of each feature in the cave are measured and collected data is ente red into AutoCAD to prepare a site map. The major historical features in the cave monastery include the church, treasure or former Palace, the tomb of the emperor, and the human remains including mummies and skulls ( Figure 4 9 ). The AM Cave Monastery The AM is a built up cave monastery, about 245km north of Addis Ababa, in Central Ethiopian ( Figure 4 11 ). Hundreds of mummified human remain have been uncovered from the AM cave monastery. The site is selected for the study particularly because of the presence of extremely well preserved mummified remains ( Figure 4 12 ). Most of the mummified remains have been removed from their original burial ground and stacked in a secondary deposition area located deep inside the back of the cave church, mainly as a result of the renovation. Several mummies were found in erect/standing positions while others lay on the floor and in burial cases within the
103 church. The mummified remains are stored in a corrugated room. Local people used to take pieces of body part s of the mummy or wrapping materials to receive the Holy Spirit of the mummies; an act resembling the receiving of the Holy Communion, which is a tradition inculcated to Christianity from traditional pagan religion. Some people place the pieces on their ne ck to combat evil spirits and also believe that pieces of the flesh would cure them of any disease. I prepared archaeological site map for the AM cave monastery site. The map shows the main features such as the church service area, mummy storage area, main church, museum rooms and residential area ( Figure 4 13 ). DS Cave Monastery The DS is found near the town of Meragna ( Figure 4 14 ) and west of the AM. According to Abba Esayas Alemu, it was founded in the 14th century, and regarded as one of the oldest churches in the area, next AM. According to the oral tradition, Abba Bereded, the founder of the church, came to the area from Gojja m to expand Orthodox Christianity, and looked for a cave with a pillar column inside, a clue imparted by God in his dream. Abba Bereded searched for such cave between the present day Gojjam and Northern Shewa until he found it in Meragna and named the cave as DS. According to the oral tradition, which is similar that of the AM monastery, God promised Abba Bereded to preserve whoever was buried within the church boundary. Accordingly, most of the corpses buried at the site were found in an excellent state of preservation. The DS cave church offered a unique opportunity to acquire contextual data from the excavation of graveyards due to the renovation of the cave church, which would have been impossible otherwise. The religious authorities obtained permission from local communities to remove the cemetery for the newly constructed church. The
104 prearranged permit provided an excellent opportunity to participate in the process of unearthing burial remains in the cave. Most of the remains were unknown to the local communities, as the mummies were from a different developmental period ( Figure 4 16 ) It shows the cultural continuity of practices of mummification. The monastery of DS was selected, as explained below in the methodology section, particularly due to the unique opportunity to understand the burial practice of Orthodox Christianity and to understand roles of priests in medieval Ethiopian society. The local communities we re consulted and participated in the renovation process of the church since 2010. An archaeological site map that shows the area of excavation, church and mummies location was plotted ( Figure 4 16 ) Summary Ethiopia is endowed with numerous natural and artificial caves, where thousands of extremely well preserved mummies are found. However, there is no bioarchaeological work on the mummies/mummification practices particularly from northern central Ethiopia. H uman skeletal evidences were recovered from pre Aksumite Phillipson 2009; Phillipson et al 1995). These human skeletal bones were barely preserved. Thus, there is no evidenc e of mummified human remains recovered from pre Aksumite and Aksumite archaeological site. The challenge was not the absence of mummified remains but the objective of the anthropological research. The large volume of published studies describes the role o f art history and architectural history of the prominent rock hewn churches (Lepage 1997; Gervers 2003), iconography and liturgy (Frit sch 2008), geology (Asfaw 2002, Asfa w 2009, Asfaw et al. 2012,) and archaeology (Phillipson 20 09, Finneran 2012). Asfaw su ggests that
105 rock type is a major factor in the selection and carving of caves in Ethiopia. He concludes that builders of the rock hewn caves had knowledge about the rock types. The majority of the works have been focused on Lalibela rock hewn churches. Rel atively, the cave churches are thoroughly researched than mummies, or the people who lived and practiced the culture in a given monastery. Several monasteries such as the YK, AM, DS, Genete Mariam, Emakina Medhane Alem, Lidetta Mariam, Zammadu Mariam, Nact Lalibela rock hewn churches contains mummified human remains. However, the remains are poorly protected and faced imminent danger of destructions from natural and artificial factors. The extraordinary preservation and the long h istory embedded within the material culture provide invaluable insight into a little known part of medieval Ethiopian history. Data about post Aksumite archaeology remains were scarce. In recent years, researchers have struggled with reconstructing the his tory of medieval Christian highland Ethiopia. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the post Aksumite period. Very limited research has been conducted on the mummies and mummification practices in Ethiopia. Most of the researches were focused on the cave ignoring the very people who engrave, carve or occupied them. Although the origin of mummification in Ethiopia and Eritrea is unknown, thousands of well preserved mummies were discovered in the country. Thus archaeological and bioarchaeological s tudies in the post Aksumite period could shed more light on the little known history of medieval Ethiopia
106 Figure 4 1 Map of the study sites: The relative location of Mida Woremo and Lasta Woreda in Amhara Region in Ethiopia Photo cr edit: Muluembet 2016)
107 Figure 4 2 E levation of the Mida Woremo in c entral Ethiopia. B oth the AM and DS cave s are located near Mera gna town located at an altitude of 2400 MSL and the sites are found at a lower elevation at 1800 mas l ( modified from Google Earth map 2016 ) DS AM
108 A B C D Figure 4 3 Photo taken in the 2013 field season showing the cave of Tseha Mich ael monastery: A) a subterranean cave where we walked for three hours and could not find the end. B) It was a burial ground used by the local people. C) Mummies found in the cave but several hundreds of t hem were broken and stacked at the back of the cave. D) Shows granaries used to keep grains during drought season but the date is unknown. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
109 A B Figure 4 4 Kara Meshige Fort. A) the fort was constructed during the Queen Yoddit Guddit of Aksum, the wall is 400 meters by 3 meters length and height a strategic location used to separate North Shewa from the South Wello. According to the oral tradition the wall was constructed with countl ess number of human fingers. However, during the archaeological survey in 2013 and 2015 could not find any human remain. B) the aerial view after the fort where I am standing in Northern Shewa and the furthers hill is South Well o Photo credit: Abiyot 2015
110 A B Figure 4 5 The YK indigenous forest and degraded landscape. A) Google Earth Satellite areal view of the YK indigenous forest and the surrounding degraded landscape. B) photo taken during the 2015 fieldwork in YK showing a partial view of the natural forest coverage in YK cave monastery. Photo credit: Abiyot 2015 Figure 4 6 T he unimpressive exterior wall of YK Photo credit: Abiyot 2015
111 A B Figure 4 7 The YK cave church and partial view of the palace A) photo taken in 2013 show the front side of the church, B) shows the back view of the church where the tomb of YK was also protected with a small brick fence and covered with red colored cloth. It was bui lt alternatively with gravel stone and woods Photo credit: Abiyot 2015
112 A B Figure 4 8 The condition and extent mummies particularly how they are commingled and disarticulated. All the mummies were stacked at the back of YK cave church. A) Photo taken in 2013 field season shows thousands of human corpses partly skeletonized and partially mummified. A diseased individual buried with the burial coffin was completely skeletonized; B) shows part of the mummies at the back of the cave where it further continuous to the far back end where the distance is about 30 meters from the fence seen in photo A to the end of the cave. Photo credit: Abiy ot 2013
113 Figure 4 9 The tomb of King YK dated back to eleven th century based on new carbon dating. The tom b is found very close to the church signifying the status of the individual. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
114 Figure 4 10 Site map plan of YK The position of the mummies and skulls reflect the current position after the field work.
115 Figure 4 11 The newly reconstructed cave church and series of retention wal ls to expand the AM cave monastery. The construction of the wall was initiated a fter handful of followers fe ll down due to a landslide. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
116 Figure 4 12 Mummified humans composed of different social st atus: P riests Monks, Deacons, N uns and Followers found in AM cave monas tery. were crisscrossed and placed on the opposite shoulder, as a symbol of with the objective of indicating that they secluded themselves from the secular organs) to emulate Adam and Eve, who became aware of their body and their sins. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
117 Figure 4 13 AM site m ap
118 A B Figure 4 14 DS c ave monastery A) Photo was taken in 2013 field season where the old church painted for annual monastery celebration. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013 B) photo taken in 2015 field season where the old church was demolished and the new church was built in its place Photo credit: Abiyot 2015
119 Figure 4 15 Child mummies from the DS c hurch were found in a secondary deposit These child mummies were uncovered from a burial tomb, multiple interments. According the local priest, the multi ple interments reveal an episodic event in the past possibly epidemic disease or drought where children are more susceptible than adults. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
120 Figure 4 16 DS site m ap shows the location of the excavation localities and the mummies The entire area surrounding the church was excavated.
121 CHAPTER 5 ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND EXCAVATION OF SELECTED SITES Chapter 5 further explains the preceding chapter by presenting methods of data collection and analysis for the archaeological survey and excavation of the study sites. T he chapter also further describes field data acquisitions and lab analysis methods. The excavations in the DS cave monastery also provide insightful data about Orthodox Christians b urial traditions, which would have been impossible otherwise. Reconnaissance Survey Study sites were designated through the use of archival research (Anfray 1985; Assefa 2014; Buxton 1972; Mengistu 200 4; Phillipson 2012; Sergew 1972; Taddesse 1972), monast ery documents and oral history. The survey results were used for evaluating site significance for the dissertation. A research team composed of the principal investigator and antiquity officers conducted reconnaissance surveys without any test excavation i n north and central Ethiopia during the summer of 2012. The research team identified clustered cave churches in Mida Woremo, Bugna and Lasta. First, the Mida Woremo cluster includes the AM, DS, Tseha Michael and Washa Gabriele. Second ly the Bugna cluster i ncludes the YK, Bilbala Giorgis and Arbatu Ensessa. Third ly the Lasta cluster inc ludes 11 rock hewn churches of Lalibela namely: the Bete Mariam, Bete Medhane Alem, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagel, Bete Golgotha, Bete Debre Sina Bete Gabriel, Bete Merkorios, Bete Amanuel, Bet e Abba Libanos and Bete Giorgis Of all the clusters, cave monasteries found in the Mida Woremo and Bugna produced the desired mummified human remains for this study. However, most of the rock hewn churches provided limited numbers of mummies The challenges further compounded as religious aut horities sealed a catacomb containing mummified
122 human remains and re buried an unknown number of mummies. Attempt s to view the second ary burial ground were unsuccessful. As a result, mummies located in the YK, AM and DS cave monasteries are subjects of this study. The DS site was the only site where an excavation permit was secured and selected for excavat ion The inclusion or ex clusion of a cave monastery in the dissertation depends on three factors: physical accessibility, restric ted access to mummified remains and safety. First, regarding site accessibility, the Tseha Mi chael and Washa Gabriel cave monasteries are remote and inaccessible and as such were excluded from the survey. For example I had to travel inside a semi subterranean tunnel down the hill for 1000 meters, which is extremely risky ( Figure 5 1 ). Despite the challenge preliminary data about Tseha Michael were included to provide baseline data for future anthropological studies in Chapter 4. Physical access to the YK was limited, due to transportation challenges. While Lalibela has a daily flight from and to Addis Ababa, the 42 km distance from the Lalibela to the YK village was a treacherous road. As a result, a public transport serv ice bus was not assigned but a rental car at a cost $ 50 US dollars could be used to travel to the site. S urprisingly, a concrete paved road was built for the YK with a donation from UNESCO. Further to the south, the dry weather road to Meragna, the capital of Mida Woremo Wereda in the Northern Shewa was comparatively better than the site in the Northern Wello. A public transport bus runs every Sunday to Meragna town. As an option a rental four wheel drive vehicle is an alternative, but due to the dry weather road, car breakdown was typic al and costs three times more than equivalent transportation to the YK cave monastery. For example, after the supervisory visit of Dr.
123 Brandt in the AM site in 2013, the rental car malfunctioned in the middle of nowhere. Another similar incident occurred in the following year where I was forced to return back and reschedule fieldwork. Both the AM and DS sites are about 5 km from Meragna However, the cave monasteries were found in the middle of a cliff. Fortunately, Menschen fr Menschen, a Non governmental organization, built the 836 stairs to the AM site. However, similar pave d sta irs were not constructed for the DS. The grueling daily travel, logistical factors and restriction of the supervisory committee affect ed decisions about inclusion or exclusion of mummies. Second ly restricted access to mummified human remains was another factor for the inclusion or exclusion of the sites. The YK, AM and DS are accessible. Most importantly, I received fairly unrestricted access in the DS particularly to conduct exc avation ( Figure 5 2 ). In the YK, I have also got access to take pictures of crosses uncovered during the expansion of the monastery ( Figure 5 3 ). S afety was the third factor considered in the inclusion or exclusion of a site. Sites selected for this study were relatively safe, except for the DS cave monastery where there was no paved access to the site and imminent danger from a dissatisfied group of people A l ocal supervisory committee, composed of police, the antiquity officer, a community leader and church representatives, were monitoring the research work in all location s. Despite their interference in obtaining samples, committee members were instrumental in ensuring research crews' safety. The Tseha Mic hael and Washa Gabriel were excluded from the study due to safety concerns and site accessibility.
124 Field Data Collectio n Field Assistants and Workers Field assistants and temporary workers were crucial for field data acquisition. A total of 148 individuals were employed to assist the field data collection process ( Figure 5 3 ) Of this number 18 were field assistants and 130 were temporary workers. Six field assistants from each site namely the YK, AM and DS were recruited based on their educational background, local kn owledge, cult ural understanding and familiarity with the physical landscape. At the beginning of each summer season assistants at each site were trained in archaeological field methods such as s urvey, excavation, photography and the use of osteometr ic tools. I closely monitored the proces s of site selection, excavation and osteometric measurements to ensure the quality and validity of the data. Field wo rkers ass is ted with the heavy task s such as removing huge pile s of dirt, carrying mummies outside o f the storage room for investigation, returning them afte r the completion of the work, recording extracted metric data and assisting with excavation ( Figure 5 5 ) The number of temporary field workers varied from site to site, depending on the workload A total of 120 individuals were involved in the process of excavation for almost two w eeks at the DS cave monastery, where 10 field workers were employed for a day to transport huge pile s of soil to facilitate the process of excavation for 12 days. They were divided into two groups of five individuals. Each group worked intensively for thr ee hours due to difficulty of the workload and imminent danger of health risk from the dust. However, five additional temporary worker s were recruited for each of the AD and YK caves to prepare the mummies for inventory as the work load was easier than at the DS
125 Archa eological Field Survey Surveys of cave monasteries were selected for five reasons. First reconstructing mummification practice s in Ethiopia requires data on the subject. Cave monasteries have a better likelihood of preserving mummies than open air burial graves. Second ly, reconstructing the role of diet in determining social status during ancient and medieval Ethiopia requires samples for isotopic analysis. The sample for the analysis could be well preserved and less contaminated in cave burial settings. Third ly investigations of diachronic changes in the practice of mummification (e.g. the beginnings of spontaneous, artificial and/or spiritual mummifications) are best situated at cave monasteries with prolonge d mummification practices. The use of open a ir burial graves was restricted and likely to have a single burial that could not show diachronic c hanges. Thus, cave monasteries would more likely have multiple burials and a better chance of refining the practices over an extended period. Fourth ly data regarding si te comparisons could be found at cave sites as most of the saints, and subsequent foreign religious pilgrims settled in cave sites (e.g. YK Lalibela). Finally, survey and excavation of burial graves in Ethiopia are off limit for such archaeo logical and osteological investigation. Three field seasons were conducted yearly in 2013, 2014 and 2015 at the AM, DS and YK sites, which are active religious sites. As stated above, cave monasteries were selected primarily based upon the presence of ex ceptionally well preserved mummified human remains coupled with relative research site accessibility. Additional reconnaissance surveys and invento ries of mummies were conducted with the help of field assistants. Archaeological surveys were carried out in the Jamma Valley and Tseha Michael cave monastery. The total area covered by the pedestrian
126 survey was 30 meters by 20 meters. Trace fossils, marks left by unidentified plants leaves, were recovered from rocks in Dongore in Mid a Woremo, Semien Shewa Zone in central Ethiopia. Sample specimens were collected and submitted to the Department of Geology at Addis Ababa University for further analysis. Kara Meshige F ort was another important archaeological site surveyed in 2013 and 2014. A group of five individua ls covered the main garrison station, which was equivalent to a football stadium. According to oral tradition in the area, the fort was constructed during Yoddit Guddit in the Aksumite P eriod and was used as a battle station for major wars in Ethiopia sinc e Aksumite (Chapter 3). Further north, similar pedestrian surveys were carried out in Lasta Woreda p articularly in the YK, Lalibela and their surr ounding environs. The majority of mummies was removed from their original deposition and stacked in a seconda ry location. For example, in Lalibela there were several mummies but most of them were collected and reburied. During surveys in 2013, 2014 and 2015 empty catacombs were found and documented. Originally, catacombs were used for prayer but later used for burial purpose s. Most of the corpses were removed and reburied in another location. However, two or more mummies were still in the Lalibela rock hewn church covered by a temporary fence. Attempts to a ccess these mummies were believed to be sacred and the s ite was an active religious site. During archaeological survey documentation, a total of 221 mummies and 57 skulls were collected from the three sites: AM (68 mummies), DS (65 mummies), and YK (88 mummies) (Chapter 6). Uniform coding was used for all sites where site name was followed by stat us and sex of a mummy ( Table 5 1 ). All of the mummies were
127 selected following systematic sampling. However, several various variab les affected the systematic sampling strategy designed to select mummies, such as the unknown number of mummies, secondary deposition, orientation, physical condition and nature of preservation of mummies in a monastery. First, the number of mummies w as un known in the study sites hindering the determine of statistically representative samples. For example, according to oral tradition, the number of mummies in the YK was estim ated to be between 5000 and 11,000 Nevertheless, because of human intervention for the expansion of the church and pieces of the mummies having been stolen by the locals for medicinal purposes, thousands of mummies were pulverized. Secondly, most of the mummies were deposited in their se condary depositional location (e.g., those at the AM and YK sites were from secondary deposition). However, of the total 221 of mummies, 13 were uncovered in their primary/in situ deposition in the DS, w hile the remaining 209 were found in their secondary deposition. Thus, identifications of the positions of mummies were difficult, as they were intermingled (Adams 2004). Adam s (2004) als o states that identi fication of commingled bones is difficult as th e number of variables multiply with unmixed individuals Thirdly, the orientation of mummies affected the design strategy. Unfortunately, all of the mummies were relocated and recollected from different places. Hence, all data related to orientation have been lost. Finally the nature of preservation was ano ther factor considered in the inclusion of mummies in this study. Numerous mummies were destroyed, particularly in the DS and YK sites. Mummies partly preserved and fully skeletonized were excluded, except
128 informative skeletal parts (e.g., skull). Comparat ively preserved and informative mummies were included to extract more valuable information. Excavation: Golden Opportunity and Challenge In Ethiopia, it i s difficult, if not impossible to excavate active religious Christian burial sites. Fortunately, thi s study was carried out during the same time as renovations occurred and, therefore, the study perfectly aligned with the interest of the stakeholders. DS ecclesiastical authorities facilitated the permit for renovations of the monastery. A select committe e f rom a representative of the monastery, local community police and Culture and Tourism Bureau of Mida Woremo formed the Debreguad Selassie Renovation Committee (DSRC). DSRC worked on behalf of the local community to raise fund s and mobilize local people to rebuild the cave monastery. If not for these local advocates and their willingness to include anthropological research, this research would not have occurred. DSRC discussed plans and strategies to rebuild the new church. After intensive debate, the c ommittee was successful in alleviating stakeholders concerns and move d forward with the construction plan. According to the chair of the committee, the main points of the accord include d : first, to guarantee that local people vol untarily removed their rel ative s corpse buried in the planned construction zone and to support renovations of the monastery by providing voluntary service; s econd ly to assist the local Cultural and Tourism Office experts to survey the area and s upervise the excavation process; an d t hird, to ensure the police provide safeguard s for the churc h and movable cultural heritage (e.g., human remains and artifacts). The understanding between the project and stakeholders facilitated the process of excavation. Furthermore, stakeholders were trained on the research objectives and
129 standardized archaeological excavation procedures. The ecclesiastical authorities, in favor of more systematic excavation methods, agree d to halt the random excavation and renovation work on the site. According to p riest living in the cave monastery, renovations of the church were initiated in 2010, using a p rivate donation of five million Ethiopian birr (or $250,000 USD). Moreover, the local communities contributed additional materials and free labor support. Between 2010 and 2013, they actively engaged in excavating the cave. Hundreds of mummies were recovered and reburied. However, buria l graves closer to the old ch urch were not excavated, although the excavation partly revealed graveyard markers such as logs, pieces of reed mat and strat igraphic layers Archaeological finds recovered from the monastery were reused. According to Gobeze C hairperson of the Committee, grains, pots and crosses were recovered The grains we re consumed and the pots were broken. The crosses, made of either wood or iron, were in excellent condition. Of all recovered crosses, a big iron cross was registered as a t angible heritage of the church. According to the engravings on the cross, the wrought iron cross was crafted during the reign of Menelik II (1889 1907). Si milar crosses were recovered fro m the YK site dated to the beginning of the church ( Figure 5 3 ) The height of the constructed retention wall was 17 meters at its highest point, with a length of roughly 255 meters ( Figure 5 4 ) Despite the available funds, labor and effort to build a masonry retention wall, its structural integrity was not adequate to withstand the extra load of the soil and stones. Furthermore, the contrac tor failed to submerge water pipes and used poor quality construction materials. Inevitably, the wall
130 collapsed and hundreds of reburied mummies were reportedly destroyed, as they were flooded down to the gorge. Regrettably, neither the church nor the Woreda Cultural Tourism Office attempted to salvage the mummies. Consequently, some of the mummies that could have survived were destroyed and washed away by the intermittent river gorge, which emanates from the fron t of the cave. The collapsed retention wall was the cause for the firing of all DSRC members. Subsequently, a newly elected committee did not attempt to salvage the mummified remains flooded to the gorge. Perhaps, the reasons for not rescuing the remains w ere related to financial constraints and limited knowledge of how to do so. Most of the construction materials and excavated soil were temporarily dumped closer to the church. Clearing all of the dumped materials from the selected localities was a challen ge. Nevertheless, the portion of the burial graves closer to the church were not disturbed and provided an opportunity for this study. The localities were selected based on surface findings, proximity to the old church, hauling/transporting distance to du mp the excavated soil and the structure of the grave. Moreover, I surveyed areas with the highest concentration of burial graves. Surface findings were crucial for the determination of the localities. The three localities were selected partly based on surf ace findings and features such as mummified remains, ecofacts (e.g., grains) and artifacts (e.g., cross es cotton sheets and palm mats). Burial proximity refers to the burial grave distance to the center of the church. Higher ranking individuals, such as p riests, nuns, monks, deacons and elites, are buried
131 closer to the church. Among them, those individuals who were spiritually well advanced were buried inside the church and towards the center where the altar is located. Information from the monastery expla ined this burial proximity, where the closer the burial graves were to the church building indicated the higher status of the individual. Multiple interments in a grave were another criterion used to select the locality. Living priests, monks and elders pr ovided additional information regarding the location of multiple interment burial graves in the DS. Family members often used multiple interment burials for many generations. One of the selected localities includes this type of burial. Access and transport ation distance to dump fine grained excavated matrix were additional factors considered in selecting the localities. Some parts of the cave monastery were inaccessible due to the relative height of the cave ceiling. The transportation of huge piles of matr ix consumes time and budget. Moreover, areas at the back of the church were far and inaccessible. Archaeological Excavations of the DS Martin (2014: 2706) explains that archaeological excavation is a method used to Excavation is the last resort in the process of archeological data collection; hence, it is a deliberate destruction for the reconstruction of the past (Clark 2003; Martin 2014). Unfortunately, most of the mummified human remains were moved from their original positions. Data obtained from test excavations were supposed to be conducted in all site s to get contextual information. However, because of restrictions imposed by the church, one cannot get the permission to conduct any sort of excavation, particularly in active burial sites.
132 As explained in Chapter 4, excavation of the peripheral area of the monastery was started in 2010. A retention wall was constructed between 2010 and 2013, to prevent landslides and to expand the cave monastery. Construction materials and excavated soils dumped near the church were cleared Excavation materials and datu m The cave site was easy to excavate, as sediments in the burial grave were porous and not compacted. Excavation tools such as shovels, hammers, nails, markers, strings, line levels, plastic bags, knee pads, dust pans, screens, trowels and cameras were us ed. An excavation grid measuring 3 meters by 4 meters was set up to record the location of each grave. Then the datum point was selected where all m easurements were taken from this stable benchmark. It was also important to control the stratigraphy interva ls. Arbitrary intervals were adopted, where the levels were changed at every 10 centimeters. Excavation Locality I Locality I was positioned north of the old church on the western portions of the cave. It contained four burial graves. The matrix consisted of brown soil and showed no sign s of disturbance. The locality yielded four mummified human remains, of which three were adults and one was a child ( Figure 5 5 ). No artifact assemblages or features were associated with the bodies. The burial graves were oriented east west, where the head of a deceased individual was facing toward the west, and the body positioned posteriorly. According to the local tradition, it is be lieved that, at the Judgment Day, when Jesus Christ comes from the east, all deceased individuals will be resurrected and rise from the west facing toward the east. Burial Grave I A c hild mummy was exhumed at the third arbit rary level around 45cm from Bu rial Grave I. The matrix of this burial grave was loose and dry brown soil.
133 The next arbitrary levels revealed no trace of artifacts or ecofacts and as a result, the excavation was abandoned ( Figure 5 6 ). The child mummy, coded as DSFI1, wrapped with a cotton sheet and timber leaf, was remarkably well preserved. After cleaning the dust thoroughly, I untethered the cord on the head for further macroscopic evaluation an d determined the biological profile. Based on visual examination, the presence of male genital organs made sex determination an easier and straightforward assessment. The age of DSFI1 was estimated to be between one and three years mainly because the sagi ttal and coronal sutures were not closed. The growth of four frontal milk teeth on the upper and lower jaws and absence of molar teeth were useful parameters in determining the approximate age of DSFI1.The hands were placed on the genital indicating the st atus of the mummy, a f ollower. Although the statu s was grossly categorized as a f ollower, the status of DSFI1 within the f ollower was unknown. Nevertheless, there was an indication that the boy belonged to a higher social status family. The area close to t he church, as indicated above, was often reserved for the elite. The fact that the mummy was buried in proximity to the church and three other bodies might explain his family status. It was not possible to determine the relation ship between the two me n an d the woman. Further genetic analysis is needed to prove kinship relationships. However, there was a higher probability that the child might be related to the woman. If this assertion holds, the child died and was buried first, and the mother followed, as mothers often wished to be buried next to their children. According to Ethiopian Christian tradition, it is a common practice for family members to be buried next to each other or in the same grave.
134 Burial Grave II This interment was situated in the same locality as Burial Grave I. The objective was to determine what sort of variation, if any, existed between the two burial graves. As the graveyard was placed closer to the church, there was also the possibility that the mummy would yield additional information. Interestingly, the excavation revealed a female corpse at 57 cm depth and was coded as DSFF2 ( Figure 5 7 ). The height of DSFF2 was 157 cm and the width, at its maximum point, was 60 cm. Both the mummy and wrapping materials were well preserved. It was wrapped with a cotton sheet and palm mat. Sex determination was based on a non metric assessment. DSFF2 shows less prominent supraorbital ridges and a sharper superior orbit. More importantly, the preservation of breast tissue on the chest made sex determination easier. It was a middle aged adult woman. She was buried closer to the church compared to other female mummies. This perhaps indicates that DSFF2 was from a high ranking family. The mummy status was identified based on the position of both hands as all followers of Orthodox Christianity placed them on their genitals (Chapter nital organ. No evidence of pathological or body injury was observed on the mummy. The abdomen of the mummy was collapsed, perhaps removed during the preparation of the body to prevent decomposition. Burial Grave III It was found near Burial Graves I and II. DSFM3 was uncovered at a shallow depth of 35 cm ( Figure 5 8 ). Sex identification of DSFM3 was based on the sexual dimorphism, mainly by the prominent supraorbita l ridges, and
135 blunter superior orbits coupled with the presence of a male genital organ were conclusive of the sexual orientation. Metric age determination, such as degeneration of pubic symphysis, pelvic articular surface and sternal ends of the ribs were not assessed because of limited access to advanced technologies such as CT scan or X ray. However, the dental attrition and physical stature suggest that DSFM3 was an aged adult. The height of the mummy was 185 cm and width, at its maximum point, was 60 grave to the church might indicate that he belonged to an elite class. Macroscopic examination revealed no pathological or trauma on DSFM3. Burial Grave IV and Burial Gr ave V The DSFM4 and DSFM5 mummies were exhumed from Locality I. Methods included excavation of 120 cm x 189 cm to a maximum depth of 90 cm. A huge pile of aeolian deposit was removed before the two mummies were exposed. The sed iments were fine grains in t exture ( Figure 5 9 ). There was no damage to the mummies and each was well preserved. Sex determination was based on the presence of male genital organs. Both DSFM4 an d DSFM5 were middle aged adults as there was no evidence of dental attrition or visible bone degeneration. The status of the mummies was inferred from a placement of both hands on the genitals. The study could not find any possible causes of death, as neit her a life threatening pathology nor trauma was discovered on either. Excavation Locality II Burial Grave VI The DSFM6 mummy was exhumed from Locality II ( Figure 5 10 ) Methods include d excavation of 65 cm x 189 cm to a maximum depth of 45 cm DSFM6 was well preserved and there was no damage on the mummy. Sex
136 determination was based on the presence of a male genital organ. DSFM6 was a middle aged adult as there was no evidence of dental attrition or visible bone degeneration. The hand of DSFM6 covered the genital organ, indicating the status of the mummy. The study could not find any possible causes of death, as neither life thre atening pathology nor trauma were found o n DSFM6. Burial Grave VII It was found next to Burial Grave VI DSFM7 was also oriented north to south, similar to DSFM6. The burial orientation of DSFM7 was also a secondary deposit, and the original burial grave could be used for multiple interments. Similar methods used to determine sex and age of DSFM6 were applied to DSFM7, and the latter was determined to be an adult male. The height of the mummy was 179 cm and the width, at its maximum point, was 65 cm. The cause of death is not known as no visibl e trauma or pathology were recorded. Strangely, DSFM6 and DSFM7 were oriented north to south. Asked about the orientation anomaly of the mummies, some of the priests explained that the deviation in orientation might have been due to various factors such a s shortage of space, the status of the mummies, the will of the deceased and gravedigger preference. A secondary deposit and the original burial grave could be used for another individual. The locations of a burial place, in the DS in particular, and in th e country in general, are determined by the availability of the desired space. Indeed, this does not include those who already inherited burial grave s from their ancestors. In the absence of a designated area, church officials and gravediggers select the b urial chamber. The status of an individual is the fundamental factor for the allocation of the burial space. The higher the status, the more likely is the chance of getting a desired spot. In
137 most cases, burial space for the ecclesiastical authorities is d esignated in advance. The burial chamber starts from the inner spot inside the church, which often reserved for the highest priest. For instance, according to oral tradition, both Abba Bereded (founder of DS) and Abune Melke Tsadik (founder of AM) were bur ied inside the church. In some cases, a person predetermines a burial place in advance by his/her wishes regardless of the orientation of the other burial graves. Depending on the status of the deceased, the living negotiate and renegotiate based on the w ishes/will of the deceased. The wishes of the deceased are often associated with the ancestral spirit, and people tend to respect and implement the willpower, as stated by the deceased. Some people travel a long distance just to be buried in the cave churc bodies were transported to the place the deceased indicated in the willpower. Because of these unique circumstances, burial places are not strictly limited to the local communities. Another factor that determines the orientation of a burial grave is the preference of the gravediggers. As they are intimately familiar with the orientation of the burial chamber, church officials often consult them before making the final decision. In the case of congested burial spaces, when a spot is found eve n facing north to south, families of a deceased individual often take the position. Excavation Locality III Burial Grave VIII. The DSFM8 mummy was exhumed from the Burial Grave V III at a depth of 190 cm. Most of the wrapping materials were decayed but smal l fragments of the cotton sheet and palm mat were preserved. Remarkably, DSFM8 was well preserved despite the decayed wrappings. This individua l had a height of 175 cm and a width of 60 cm.
138 Similar to the previous mummies, DSFM8 was wrapped with cotton an d then with a timber mat. The mummy was found in excellent condition. It was identified as a male and was estimated to be a middle aged adult. No artifacts accompan ied the interment of DSFM8 ( Figure 5 11). According to the local priest, some people prefer to be bur ied with out artifacts; religion and personal preference are the main factors for the absence. Most of the body parts of the mummy were intact. However, the abdomen in this mummy, like others, was collapsed, indicating either the removal of intern al organs or the use of preservative material to deter the growth of bacteria. In support of this, physical examination revealed no sign of dehydration. X ray and further chemical analysis could produce more reliable results. Unfortunately, due to the stri ct policy of the church, neither X ray nor chemical analysis was possible. Burial Grave IX Burial Grave I V was used for multiple bodies ( Table 5 2 and Figure 5 11 ). A total of five individuals was exhumed. The deceased were unknown to the local communities. The grave was covered with wood logs, possibly used to preve nt soil and other materials from entering the grave and also served as a burial marker. According to the high priest in the church, multiple interments are very common in the DS, given the limited space inside the cave. Some of the burial graves, uncovere d and reported by the local communities during expansion of the cave, contain seven mummified bodies. Unfortunately, the time period, their identity and the reason they were interred in one burial chamber, are unknown. Burial Grave VII was orien ted in an e ast west orientation ( Table 5 2 ) The mummy at the top was the oldest in burial age whereas the youngest in the burial age was at the bottom. When a new deceased corps e was buried, it was covered
139 with cotton and a timber mat. Plant remains such as Juniper locally named Tsid and timber leaf were used between the interments. All excavation grave s were not backfilled because the entire area was under construction ; acco rdingly, t he next year the whole area was cleared. According to the priest at the site, some of the burial graves have been used for generations. For example, when a member of the family passed away, the body c ould be buried in the same grave as previousl y decreased members. As such, it is common to find multiple corpses in a single grave. The multiple burial graves defy the law of superposition, where the bottom is older than the upper. In contrast to this, the fresh corpse is always placed at the bottom of the grave in DS. Gravediggers opened the grave and removed the old corpse and excavated the grave deeper to insure it would accommodate the new and the previously deceased corpses. The fresh corpse is always placed at the bottom and the rest follow acc ording to their original burial order. The entire process is strictly monitored mainly to not to upset the ancestral spirits who are believed to watch over the living. Summary A total of 221 mummified human remains were documented and included in this stu dy. U nfortunately, the majority ( 209) were recorded from a secondary depositional location. A total of 13 undisturbed mummies were excavated in the DS. The DSRC mainly facilitated the excavation permit because the church was under renovat ion Proper archaeological procedures were followed to exhume corpses from the burial graves. A child and a woman mummy were uncovered in Locality I. Surprisingly, in locality III, multiple interments of the bodies of four men and a woman were discovered. Wra pping materials were the same for all, and no grave goods were discovered, a
140 typical characteristic of Christian burial in Ethiopia. Even though the AM was similarly under renovation at the time of the visit, chur ch official declined to give permission to excavate the burial graves. As a result, mummies found in secondary deposits were documented. The majority of mummies ( 133) were collected fro m central, and the remainder (88) was from northern Ethiopia. The religious group c omposed of mummies of priest s, monks, nuns and deacons represented 63% (141), while followers amounted to 27% ( 80) of the total of 221 corpses. Unsurprisingly, the total number of men is three times higher than women, possibly indicating the patriarchal society, where men control m ore of the resources. T he proportion could also prove that men travel ed a longer distance than women to reach this highly inaccessible monastery. According to the oral tra dition in the YK, the majority of the mummies were from Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor ( Chapter 3).
141 Table 5 1 Code used to collect data from all monasteries. Site name YK AM DS Priest YKP AMP DS P Deacon YKD AMD DS D Monk YKM AMM DS M Nun YKN AMN DS N Follower YKF AMF DS F Table 5 2 Multiple interments of mummies excavated from Burial Grave VII Burial ID Sex Height Maximum Width Depth DSFM9 Male 1.74 0.65 0.47 DSFF10 Female 1.52 0.59 0.96 DSFM11 Male 1.83 0.64 1.62 DSFM12 Male 1.87 0.78 2.13 DSFM13 Male 1.55 0.83 3.05 Table 5 3 Distributions of documented mummies form the YK, AM, and DS sites. Archaeological Site name Number of mummies Percent YK 88 40 AM 68 31 DS 65 29 Total 221 100
142 Figure 5 1 A s emi subterranean tunnel leads to the Tseha Michael cave monastery Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
143 A B Figure 5 2 DS site selection and clearance for excavation: A) Selection of excavated area where some of the area was already excavated by the DSRC. Photo credit: Yibzawork 2013 B) Temporary workers selected to clear the area for excavation. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013.
144 A B Figure 5 3 Crosses excavate d during cave church expansion. A) Recovered f r om YK site, B) recovered f r o m the DS cave monastery, the textual engraving indicated it was prepared during the reign of Emperor Menelik II Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
145 Figure 5 4 Debre Guad Selassie r etention w all Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
146 Figure 5 5 Excavation Unit One in Debre Guad Selassie Cave, field assistant Yohanis Sharew excavating Locality I. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
147 Figure 5 6 Child m ummy in Burial Grave I. Photo credit: Yibzawork 2013
148 Figure 5 7 DSFF 2 in Burial Grave II in the DS Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
149 Figure 5 8 Burial Grave III in the DSFM3 Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
150 Figure 5 9 Burial Grave IV and V DSFM4 and DSFM5 in the DS Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
151 Figure 5 10 Burial Grave VI of DSFM6 in the DS. Pho to credit: Abiyot 2013
152 Figure 5 11 The multiple interment burial grave in the DS : Initially DS FM9 and DS FF10 were exhumed and DS FM11 was move d toward the scale to GSFM12 but GSFM13 was deep inside. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
153 CHAPTER 6 BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL AND OSTEOLOGICAL DATA OF MUMMIES FROM THE DS, AM AND YK STUDY SITES Chapter 6 presents a description of the bioarchaeological and osteological methods used to collect data from the AM, DS and YK stu dy sites and an analysis of data Mummy inventory, physical anthropological analysis, and cranial analysis from the YK are presented. Mummy Inventory Inventories of mummies were carried out in the AM, DS and YK study sites. With the data collected at that time, the inventory includes detailed information about individual mummies at each site based on careful documentation Mixed and commingled mummies were excluded as any additional effort would have guaranteed physical destruction to the mummified remains The samples were identified based on a code assigned to the mummy in this site. Codes were constructed based on the first letter of the site, the category of a mummy and its sex. Based on the position of the arm of a mummy, each was categorized as a Pri est, Monk, Nun, Deacon or Follower. A similar pattern of coding was developed and applied to all sites included in this study Photography. A Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18 megapixel digital camera was used to photo document the sites and selected mummies. Photog raphs of all locations and individual mummies were taken using scales. The photographs are documented following the field code number given to the mummy and scale placed properly. The photographs are documented following the field code number given to the mummy and scale placed properly. Additional videos were also taken using a Canon EOS Rebel T4i
154 18 megapixel digital camera and S a msung tablet. Then, the data were transferred to two separate one terabyte passport external drive s to ensure data safety. Sket ching. A local art designer was hired to sketch the mummified human remains The artist sketched wrapped and unwrapped mummies. In addition, site maps were prepared to elaborate and contextualize the sites. Metrics Measurements and Analyses Metric measurem ents are crucial for comparative analysis and application of cranial indices (Decker 2011). Cranial measurements were taken as outlined by standardized cranial metrics measurements collected by physical anthropologists, metric data presented in this dissertation also served as a useful database because it is the only baseline data available from the YK cave of Amhara Region in Ethiopia, and therefore will aid in future comparative research. Cranial samples were not found in the AM or DS. The osteometric points were measured in centimeter s with digital sliding calipers and spreading calipers. The majorit y of the crania were complete, but some measurements could not be taken either because of pathology or trauma. Some of the crania were broken or fragmented. Fragmentary crania were measured using extant landmarks, and those features not observable were rec points as outlined by Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994), were obtained with spreading calipers. A digital caliper was used to measure shorter distance and distance lacking cranial obstruction, while spre ading calipers were used for longer distance and distance
155 with cranial obstruction. Throughout the study, measurements were performed in centimeters. Nonmetric Variation Analysis Nonmetric variation caused due to epigenetics, discontinuous morphological t raits or discrete traits are crucial indicators for ancestry estimation in a bioarchaeological and osteological analysis (White et al. 2011). These inheritable traits can then be useful in analyzing relatedness and biological distance. Cranial nonmetric tr aits of primary importance outlined by Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994) were investigated and described. Data Analysis Software Tools Fordisc 3 Fordisc 3 is a computer software program used to enhance the ability of forensic experts and bioarchaeologists to a ssess the sex, ancestry and stature of adult cranial and postcranial elements. It utilizes data from the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank (ADB), universities, medical examiners and forensic agencies. This program estimates stature using linear regression. R egression analysis was used for the estimation process in a dynamic and individualized manner, then in the set, a static manner of a regression equation (Jantz and Ousley 2005; Ousley 2009). Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Statistical Package for the Soc ial Sciences (SPSS) is a widely used program for statistical analysis in social science research (Hilbe 2010). The software was used to obtain descriptive statistics based on the measurements taken from the mummies. It
156 was also used to document variation of preservation among different age, sex and status group s of mummies. Arc View GIS Data collected from the cave churches were analyz ed using ERDAS IMAGIN 8.6, Arc View GIS 10.1, Excel and Fordisc software programs. ERDAS IMAGIN 8.6 was used to import scanned topo sheet s in image file format. The n an imported image was georeferenced using ERDAS IMAGIN 8.6. Then the image was registered to the existing image file and exported to Arc View GIS 10.1 to generate a map of the study are a An AutoCAD was program is used to produce cave maps. Data regarding mummies and mummification practices in selected sites were collected based on a form developed to accommodate a range of variables. These variables incl ude status, sex, age, wrapping materials, pathology and trauma. The study included both well preserved mummies and those in good condition. The analysis excluded partly buried, damaged, entangled and skeletonized remains. Physical Anthropology Analysis A total of 221 mummies were documented from the AM, DS and YK cave monasteries. Of this total, 40% were documented from the YK in northern Ethiopia. The remaining 31% and 29% were from the AM and DS in central Ethiopia, respectively ( Table 6 1 & Figure 6 1 ). The highest concentration of mummies in Ethiopia was found in the YK. Accordi ng to Abba Haile Mariam Haile Gabriele, more than 10,000 pilgrims have come to the monastery. Other priests claim that over 11,000 mummies might be present. These mummies were spiritually mummified individuals with little or no human intervention (Chapter 7).
157 Social Status Determination Determination of the social status of the mummies is one of the objectives of this dissertation (Robb 2001). Determination of status was based on the orientation of the hand, material buried with the deceased and burial di stance from the center of the church. The orientation of the hand was based on the accepted tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church. According to the church, the orientation of the deceased hand has reflected the status of the mummies since the f oundation of the church in the four th century. Status of the mummies was categorized into four groups: priests, monks, deacons and followers in the AM, DS and YK. Identification of mummified priests was primarily based on the hand position and the arrange ment of the fingers. As explai ned in detail in Chapters 7, the orientation of a priest's hands crisscrossed over the chest, a monk's and nun's hand was placed other, and fo Another method to determine status in mummies from the YK and AD monaster ies was the analysis of their diets. Since only a limited sample for supplementary diet analyses exists to assist in status determination, documents in the script were consulted. These documents, known locally as lifafetsidik were useful in providing b iological profile data. Priests possessed the highest social status, followed by monks, nuns, deacons, and lastly, followers. At 37%, followers represented the largest proportion of mummified remains (88 of the total of 221 mummies), followed by priests ( 25%) and deacons (10%). The 23 deacon mummies w ere also the youngest age group
158 In the AM, followers represented the majority of mummies, at 71% (48 mummies), with monks contributing the lowest number, at only 4%. Priests were the highest number of mummie s in the DS and YK, while deacons represented the smallest number ( Table 6 2 and Figure 6 2 ). As indicated above, data collected from the field were taken for further analysis to the University of Florida laboratories in USA and the University of Ottawa AMS laboratory in Canada. Radiocarbon dating analysis was done on teeth and sk in. Isotope analysis of hair samples and teeth samples was also performed (Chapter 7). Sex Determination Osteological standards and interpretation were used to determine the sex and age at death. Sex determination of the selected mummies and crania are bas ed on metric and nonmetric variables indicated by Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994), White et al. (2011) and Bass (1995). Skulls were categorized into three groups: male, female and indeterminate. Most of the mummies are extremely well preserved and thus made s ex determination easier. Sexing mummies was based on macroscopic examination, consulting inscribed documents and multiple morphological attributes. Standardized non metric traits include mental eminence, gonial angle, gonial eversion and general robusticit y. In addition, male mandibles are distinguishable based on squarer chin, larger areas for muscle attachments, ramal flexion and deeper rami ( Table 6 3 ) Finally, the scripts buried with mummies were useful to determine accurately. Sex determination of mummies and skeletal remains found in the AM, DS and YK is crucial because a predominance of male or female mummies could reveal a gendered preference for social status, social roles and burial practices. The proportion of sex, therefo re, could contribute to enhancing knowledge regarding the mortuary
159 function of the AM, DS and YK. Evidence s from the mummies, such as the presence of breast and genital organs, were also taken into consideration. The estimated sex was also crosschecked to the short biography inscribed on the leather sheet using the language. The majority of the documented mummies were male. Of the total of 221 mummies, 71% (157) were male and 29% (64) were female ( Table 6 4 & Figure 6 4 ) The overall distribution of sex across the study sites shows similar results. Of the total of 88 mummies at YK, 80% (70) were males and the remaining 30% (18) were females. Similar results were found for the AM and DS sites, where males represented more than 60% of the total mumm ies at each location ( Figure 6 5 ). Age Estimation One of the fundamental objectives of forensic anthropologists is to determine a chronological age at death (Stull and James 2010). Age estimation is based on the study of the biological variations tha t take place throughout life and could offer pieces of evidence regarding age at death (White et al. 2011). Bone is a living tissue that remodels and modifies throughout a human lifespan, reacting to hormones, trauma and pathological conditions. Forensic a nthropologists use gross morphological aging standards that are simple to apply, do not demand highly specialized equipment and are non destructive. Age of a mummified human body was made based on the macroscopic physical logy (Masters 1978), teeth eruptions, fusion stages, levels of dental attrition and degenerative alteration to the bones (Bass 1995, p.,12). The excellent condition of the selected mummies provided an ideal opportunity to accurately determine accurately th e age of the deceased. Lifafetsidik written in the
160 language, was also deciphered and used to ascertain the age of the individuals. The status of a mummy was also consulted to estimate the age of priests, deacons and nuns. Standardized methods of mo rphological traits outlined by White et al. (2011) and Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994) were also utilized to estimate age at death. The cranial suture closure method of estimating age was employed particularly on the infant and child mummies. Teeth are also a nother important way of determining age at death. Milk teeth, unlike permanent teeth, are necessary to estimate the ages of mummified remain s Age estimation from mummies and cranial remains were generalized into seven classes. However, this study used th e approach of seria tion to avoid imprecision of age determination. The mummies in the study sites were arranged in a sequence of increasing age. The most important age classes included in this study were infant (birth to three years old), child (3 to12 yea rs) young adult (20 to 35 years), middle adult (35 to 50 years), and old adult (50+ years) ( Table 6 5 ) (White et al. 2011). In this study, the developmental stage was used rather than a specific number. Thus, a range is always given when estimating age to increase the degree of accuracy rathe r than a specific number of years. Ages of the selected mummies were calculated partly based on observations of external suture closures. These sites were scored as 0 for open, 1 for minimal closure, 2 for significant closure, and 3 for completely oblitera ted/closed. There are debates over the drawbacks of aging based on cranial suture closures (Ginter 2005). However, the weaknesses of age estimation in mummies and in cranial remains
161 from the mummie s were supplemented using teeth, text documents and physica l appearance. Age determination was based on age group rather than a specific year. Accordingly, White et al. (2010) identify age groups based on dev elopmental stage. Social status recorded in the text and non metric analysis provided crucial information about age estimation at death in the study sites. Of the total of 221 mummies, 47% (107) were from the life developmental stage of middle aged adults, while only 2% (5) were identified as children betwe en 3 and 12 years old ( Table 6 6 & ) Similar result were recorded across sites ( Table 6 7 ) Taphonomic conditions such as bone disco loration, weathering, corrosion and cut marks on mummified and skull remains were also recorded in the AM, DS and YK Minimal postmortem damage to the remains and no evidence of gnawing or animal activity were recorded. The general taphonomic characteristics of the elements reveal a broad range of variation. Although the mummies and skeletal materials were extremely well preserved, they varied significant ly in their coloration, texture and conditio n. The variation in the state of the mummies and skeletal remains might provide insight in to the different positions within the mortuary deposit (Chapter 8 ) Paleopathology Paleopathology is the study of past human disease and abnormalities. Infectious di sease such as leprosy was well documented in ancien t Egypt Moller Christensen (1966) reported early cases of leprosy from Nubia. In this study, evidence of leprosy was also documented in the AM (Chapter 8 )
162 Cranial Analysis using Fordisc 3.1 Fordisc 3 ut ilizes data from the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank (ADB), universities, medical examiners and forensic agencies. This program estimates stature using linear regression. Regression analysis was used for the estimation process in a dynamic and individualiz ed manner, then in the set, a static manner of a regression equation (Jantz and Ousley 2005; Ousley 2009). The application of Fordisc has become a subject of academic debate ( Belcher & Armelagos 2005; Fried et al. 2005, Hubbe &Neves 2007, Keita 2007 ; Leath ers et al. 2002, Naar et al. 2006; Ubelaker et al. 2002 ) Determining a biological profile from human remains is baseline work for bioarchaeologists and forensic anthropologists. The biological profile composed of an ancestry and stature. Anthropologists exploit computer programs to manage extensive data and increase the reliability of the results. Fordisc is a discriminate function computer program used to estimate the aforementioned variables (Jantz and Ousley, 2005) In Fordisc 3, an indeterminate crania is ascribed a population affinity by identifying the closest Mahalanobis distance from the unknown to the mean vector scores for each undetermined. Moreover, Fordisc 3 analyzes the typicality and posterior probabilit ies, where a skull is classified to a specific group (Jantz, 2008). According to Ousely and Jantz (2005), posterior probabilities classify the likelihood that a given skull belongs to one or more particular groups A cranium is a crucial part of human bon e that provides a wide range of information regarding age, sex and ancestry; and enables osteologists and paleoanthropologists to understand human evolution (White and Folkens 2010).
163 Statistical methods were used to show the results. The attributes used fo r statistical analysis are sex and ancestry determinations. The craniofacial measurements of a total of 59 skulls were collected as outlined by Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994) I took 18 cranial measurement points from each selected skull in the Yemerhane Kir stos cave church. The osteometric points include : glabella to opisthocranion, maximum cranial breadth, bizygomatic breadth (distance between the most lateral points of the zygomatic arches), basion to bregma, nasion to basion, basion to prosthion, prosthio n to alveolon, minimum frontal breadth (distance between the two frontotemporale), nasion to nasopinale, nasal breadth (maximum breadth of the nasal aperture), dacryon to ectoconchion, and orbital height (distance between the superior and inferior orbital margins) The skull measurements were excluded at the time of lab analysis, after comparing them with Forensic Data Bank measurements. Exclusion of the skulls was mainly due to pathological deformity, growth abnormality or cranial modification. Of the orig inal 59 adult crania available, 14 were missing important measurements due to poor preservation. As a result, only 45 crania were analyzed using Fordisc 3. Numerous of skulls were found in the YK monastery. Complete adult crania on which a majority of sta ndardized measurements and observations could be recorded were included in this study. P osition and physical state are the prime variables used to determine the inclusion or exclusion of the skulls. Another determinant for inclusion was the physical nature of the skull, which refers to whether the skull is damaged or undamaged, attached or unattached to the body, and covered with muscle tissues. In line with this eight of the osteometric measurements such as Bizygomatic Breadth, Maxillo Alveolar Length, B iauricular Breadth, Orbital Breadth, Frontal Chord, Occipital
164 Chord, Parietal Chord and Interorbital Breadth were exc luded The exclusion of the osteometri c points were mainly due to measurements potential impact to alter the Fordisc result. A total of 45 sets of craniometrical data were collected from the YK cave church. All measurements were recorded into an Excel spreadsheet (Microsoft 2013). The Excel spreadsheet data were sent to CA Pound Lab at the University of Florida for statistical a nalysis using the Fordisc 3.1. Each cranial measurement was evaluated independently The Fordisc data are more relevant for the modern population than ancient populations, are more appropriate for cranial morphometric collected from the YK cave monastery. The Fordisc 3.1 data classify thirteen of the crania as Japanese, eleven of the cran ia as African American, ten crania as white European, six of the crania as indeterminate, two crania each as Hispanic and African and the reminder one as Vietnamese ( Table 6 9 & Figure 6 7 ) (Chapter 8). Summary A total of 221 mummified human remains were documented and included in this study. Unfortunately, the majority (209) was re corded from a secondary depositional location. A total of 13 undisturbed mummies were excavated in the DS. The DSRC facilitated the excavation permit because the church was under renovation. Proper archaeological procedures were followed to exhume corpses from the burial graves. Mummies of a child and a woman were uncovered in Locality I. Surprisingly, in Locality III, multiple interments of four men and a woman were discovered. Wrapping materials
165 were the same for all, and no grave goods were discovered, a typical characteristic of Christian burial in Ethiopia. Even though the cave of the AM was similarly under renovation at the time of the visit, a church official declined to give permission to excavate the burial graves. As a result, mummies found in sec ondary deposits were documented. The majority of mummies (133) were collected from central Ethiopia, with the remainder (88) coming from the northern part of the country. The religious group composed of priests, monks, nuns and deacons represented 63% (141), while followers amounted to 27% (80) of the total corpses. Unsurprisingly, the total number of men is three times higher than women, possibly indicating the patriarchal society, where men controlled more of the resources. The proportion may also in dicate that men traveled a longer distance than women to reach to this highly inaccessible monastery. According to the oral tradition in the YK, the majority of the mummies were from Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor
166 Table 6 1 Distribution of mummies in the study sites. Table 6 2 Total dis tribution of s tatus in the AM, DS and YK sites. Mummies Status Number of mummies Percent Priests 55 25 Monks 23 10 Deacons 32 14 Nuns 31 14 Followers 80 36 Total 221 100 Table 6 3 The characters of the male and female skulls used for sex determination. No Defining cranial features Male Female 1 Supraorbital ridges Prominent Less prominent 2 Frontal sinuses Larger Smaller 3 Superior Orbit Blunter Sharper 4 Muscle ridges Prominent Less prominent 5 Frontal bone Sloped More upright 6 Zygomatic process Yes No 7 Mastoid process Larger Smaller 8 Anterior Mandible Square Pointed Table 6 4 Comparative distribution of s tatus in the AM, DS and YK sites Mummy Status AM DS YK Mummy Status AM DS No Percent No No Percent Followers 48 71 13 Followers 48 71 Priests 6 9 19 Priests 6 9 Deacons 5 7 6 Deacons 5 7 Monks 3 4 11 Monks 3 4 Nuns 6 9 12 Nuns 6 9 Archaeological Site name Number of mummies Percent YK 88 40 AM 68 31 DS 65 29 Total 221 100
167 Table 6 5 The developmental stage of age classification ( White & Folkens 2005 ) No Age class Age group 1 Fetus Before birth 2 Infants 0 3 years 3 Child 3 12 years 4 Adolescent 12 20 years 5 Young Adult 20 35 years 6 Middle Adult 35 50 years 7 Old Adult More than 50 years Table 6 6 Sex distribution in the study sites. Sex Distribution Mummies Percent Male 157 71 Female 64 29 Total 221 100 Table 6 7 Sex distribution of mummies in each study sites. Archaeological site Name Male Percent Female Percent YK 70 80 18 20 AM 42 62 26 38 DS 45 69 20 31 Total 157 6 4 Table 6 8 The distribution of age in the study sites. Age class Age Mummies Percent Fetus Before birth 0 0 Infants 0 3 years 12 5 Child 3 12 years 5 2 Adolescent 12 20 years 23 10 Young Adult 20 35 years 15 7 Middle Adult 35 50 years 104 47 Old Adult More than 50 years 62 28
168 Table 6 9 Fordisc ID Sex Group Mahlatobi Distance Posterior Typicality probability 1 Male DOGM 74.7 0.895 0.021 2 Male DOGM 77.9 0.983 0.021 3 Male BF20 44.6 0.918 0.014 4 Male DOGM 123.2 0.947 0.021 5 Male WM20 60.9 0.364 0.003 6 Male WM20 64.2 0.434 0.003 7 Male EGYM 105.1 0.42 0.017 8 Male WM20 141.3 0.531 0.003 9 Indeterminate The classification of current case is Multigroup 10 Female ZULF 130.6 0.938 0.021 11 Female BF20 115.2 0.826 0.014 12 The classification of current case is Multigroup 13 Male DOGM 67.5 0.637 0.021 14 Female WF20 50 0.217 0.006 15 Male DOGM 97.6 0.472 0.021 16 Female WF20 99.6 0.386 0.006 17 Male BF20 58.3 0.542 0.014 18 Male DOGM 85.6 0.99 0.021 19 Male BM20 81.4 0.489 0.01 20 Male DOGM 89.9 0.907 0.021 21 Indeterminate The classification of current case is Multigroup 22 Female DOGF 124 0.485 0.019 23 Female DOGF 155.9 0.979 0.019 24 Female BF20 110.6 0.804 0.014 25 Male DOGM 143.4 0.979 0.021 26 Female BF20 71 0.677 0.014 27 Male DOGM 161 0.669 0.021 28 Male DOGM 65.2 0.971 0.021 29 Female BUSF 38.1 0.45 0.02 30 Male DOGM 84 0.989 0.021 31 Indeterminate The classification of current case is Multigroup 32 Female WF20 56.7 0.433 0.006 33 Male DOGM 118.1 0.959 0.021 34 Male DOGM 93.4 0.989 0.021 35 Male DOGM 74.3 1 0.021 36 Female TEIF 82.4 0.464 0.02 37 Indeterminate The classification of current case is Multigroup 38 Male DOGM 127.5 0.971 0.021 39 Male ZULM 104.5 0.828 0.018 40 Male DOGM 101.3 0.977 0.021 41 Female BUSF 82.6 0.991 0.02 42 Male DOGM 68 0.975 0.021 43 Indeterminate The classification of current case is Multigroup 44 Male EGYM 88.9 0.547 0.017 45 Indeterminate The classification of current case is Multigroup
169 Figure 6 1 Distributions of documented mummies form the YK, AM, and DS sites. Figure 6 2 Status distribution of mummies in the study sites. 40% 31% 29% Yemirehane Kirstos Abune Melke Tsadik 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Priests Monks Decons Nuns Followers 55 23 32 31 80
170 Figure 6 3 Status distribution of mummies in each study sites Followers Priests Deacons Monks Nuns 71% 9% 7% 4% 9% 26% 29% 9% 17% 18% 18% 34% 14% 20% 15% Abune Melke Tsadik Debre Guad Sellassie Yemirehane Kirstos
171 Figure 6 4 Sex distribution in all sites. Figure 6 5 Sex distribution of mummies in each study sites 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Mummies Percentage 157 71% 64 29% Female Male 0 50 100 150 200 250 Male Percent Female Percent 70 80 18 20 42 62 26 38 45 69 20 31 Yemirehane Kirstos Abune Melke Tsadik Debre Guad Sellassie
172 Figure 6 6 Age class distribution of mummies from the study sites 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Infants Child Adolescent Young Adult Middle Adult Old Adult
173 A B Figure 6 7 Fordisc 3.1 results A) a result when using Howells cranial data B) After cranial d ata 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 JF BF WF Multi AF HF HM VM Number of crania 0 5 10 15 Dogon Mali Egypt (600 200 BCE) White (Howell's 20th c.) Indeterminate Teita Kenya Zulu S. Africa Number of cranium
174 CHAPTER 7 A NALYSIS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS AND MUMMIES FROM THE DS, AM AND YK SITES In Chapter 7, a detailed analysis of archaeological finds such as altar tables, crosses, parched texts, and wrapping materials is presented. Mummies discovered with crosses, trauma and pathology are presented in a greater detail The C hapter furthe r explains lab analysis of Fordisc, carbon 14 and isotope. Archae ological Findings Most of the mummified remains were removed from their original burial ground and stacked in a secondary deposition area located at the back of the cave monastery. The removal and subsequent relocation of mummies were mainly due to renova tions of the DS, AM and YK sites. Archaeological fin ds uncovered during restoration and excavation processes include altar tables, crosses, mummified remains, Lifafetsidik and burial coffins. Altar Tables or Holy Tables, engraved with the Ten Commandments, were recovered by the DSRC during expansions of the DS, AM and YK monasteries. However, there was no proper documentation of the finds at the time of reno vations to the church. Attempts to get a picture of the t ablet s were unsuccessful, as they are sacred materials. The altars are always kept in a restricted place and only the priests and d eacons in respective monasteries (the YK, AM and DS) have access to these religious materials. Followers or visitors are not permitted to see the Holy Table. According to local tradition, the altars uncovered from each site were buried during the Ahmed Gragn War (1520 1543) (Chapter 8).
175 Lifafetsidik was a script written on a well tanned skin. To create a Lifafetsidik an animal skin was tanned to arrest decomposition and thereby prolong the durability of the script. The Genizah (embalmer) would create a Lifafetsidik by writing a short biography of the individual in on an animal skin and then say ing a prayer. Th spiritual journey to afterlife transformation. Lifafetsidik was a description of the righteousness of the individual and was an important document because it h elped to determine the age, sex and status of the mummies. For example, words such as Leametike (female servant of God) were used for women and Legeberke (male servant of God) were used for men. These words assisted the process of sex identification. Lifafetsidik scripts we re discovered in all the sites and had similar meanings across sites. Crosses Associated with Mummies Multiple and diverse crosses were recovered during restorations of the DS, AM and YK cave monasteries. The iron crosses were material evidence used by t he priests who lived in these monasteries. However, most of the crosses were found in the AM site ( Table 7 1 ). A total of ten crosses were found in situ, on mummies, but removed from their primary interments. The cross es were composed of stone, wood and leather. Wooden rectangular crosses were found more commonly than those made of iron and leather in the AM cave monastery. Initially, I arranged the cro sses based on t heir composition to determine style and typology to identify contemporaneity of among mummies. However, a contextual explanation of the crosses by Deacon Yibzawork Mesfin Abebe shed more light. According to the deacon, the stone, wood and leather cross sym bolized the
176 sufferings of Jesus Christ. For example, the wooden cross is believed to have symbolized the crucifixion on the wooden cross. Hence, followers carry such crosses in remembrance of the pain Jesus sustained to refrain from sin. Circular cross AMC 1 on AMP2 The most compelling material evidence still attached to AMP2 in the AM monastery was the intact circular cross and cord ( Figure 7 1 ). AMC1 was 6 cm tall. A cross shaped symbol was engraved on the circular wooden cross ( Figure 7 2 ). The forms and designs of crosses vary in time and space. The meaning of the geometric rep resentations of each square is unknown. According to interviews with elders, these forms and designs are no longer used. AM2 was removed from its original burial location for renovations and stacked in a corrugated room inside the cave. The length and widt h of AMP2 were 16 cm by 72 cm AMP2 was estimated to be a middle aged adult based on information from a religious t ext, the condition of the teeth and the status of the mummy. Accurate determination of sex was based on the presence of the male sexual organ A locally made cotton sheet and a palm mat were used to wrap the mummy. The e xterior wrapping, palm mat and the majority of the interior cotton wrapping were mostly damaged either during excavation or deposition of the mummy. Small portions of cotton she ets and palm mat were uncovered. Although most of the wrapping materials were damaged, AMP2 was intact and found in an excellent condition. The lack of hair with AMP2 might suggest that he was shaved during the preparation of the body. Nevertheless, determ ination of the hair condition was somewhat difficult because there was still material attached to the head providing mitigating evidence of postmortem hair loss due to decomposition.
17 7 AMP2 was classified as a priest because both hands crisscrossed each oth er, a key factor for the identification of a priest. The cranial part of AMP2 was facing toward the right perhaps due to postmortem impact. The leg was twisted. The twisting might have been due to damage to the sciatic nerve from prolonged periods of stan ding for prayer (Chapter 8). Anthropomorphic shaped cross AMC2 on AMP3 A large anthropomorphic shaped cross was buried with AMP3 ( Figure 7 3 ). AMC2 was 25 cm tall ( Figure 7 4 ). According to the treasurer of the AM monastery, this kind of cross is no longer used by priests. AMC2 was used to bless the followers who came to the cave monastery. It is customary for the local people to ask for and receive sanctification from a priest. Hence, priests carry crosses wherever they go and willingly offer sanctification. As a result, it is very common to uncover a cross with a priest burial. A MP3 was standing in an erect position inside the co rrugated room of the cave and was the tallest of the six mummies. The bundle measured 175 cm long and 70 cm wide. This individual was interred with a text, but the Ge'ez text buried with the priest was partly damaged T he remainder the text was informative about the age of AMP3 He was estimated to be a middle aged adult based on the Lifafetsidik The sex of AMP3 was easy to identify as the male genital organ was preserve d. Macroscopic evaluation of the teeth of AMP3 revealed that most of the upper incisors were lost. This was attributed mostly to age related factors coupled with poor oral hygiene. The hands were positioned in a crisscro ssed position over the chest, a typ ical mortuary practice for a priest in the EOC for the position of the hands. Although the cotton sheet that wrapped AMP3 was mostly decomposed, a piece of it survived. The
178 palm mat was lost during excavation and deposition of the mummy occurred from renov ations efforts. However, a print of the palm mat was found on the cotton sheet that covered the leg of AMP3. Anthropomorphic shaped cross AMC3 on AMP4 An anth ropomorphic shaped cross was discovered on AMP4 ( Figure 7 5 ). AMC3 was 10 cm long and engraved with geometrically shaped lines mostly rectangular and triangle ( Figure 7 6 ). T he meaning of the geometric engraving i s unknown. According to a local priest and elders, anthropomorphic shaped crosses are no longer in use. AMP4 was standing in an erect position in the storage room ( Figure 7 5 ). The wrapping materials were partly damaged and partially preserved. AMP4 was wrapped with a cotton sheet and was tethered using cotton cords. The entire palm mat, similar to AMP3, was uncovered, but the imprinted marks of the mat were visible on the cot ton sheet. This indicates that AMP3 was wrapped in a palm mat. The bundle measured 175 cm by 81 cm The hands of AMP4 were below the shoulder slightly on the chest most possibly due to post mortem impact. Nevertheless, the hands crisscrossed each other ind icating that the mummy was a prie st. AMP4 was estimated to be more than 50 years old. The age determination was i nferred from tooth loss, status and general visual examination. Natural tooth loss is an important indicator of age. According to local elders, tooth loss often starts in the early fifties. The head of the mummy faced toward the left probably due to postmortem impact ( Figure 7 5 ) The face was defleshed, and the teeth were exposed most likely due to macro and microorganism feeding. Some of the right side teeth were lost,
179 perhaps due to age and health factors. Nonetheless, no significant antemortem trauma, injury, or pathological conditions were recorded. Rect angular shaped cross AMC4 on AMP5 A small rectangular wooden cross was buried wit h the AMP 5 ( Figure 7 7 ), which may have been contemporaneous with AMC5, AMC6, AMC7 a nd AMC9 ( Figure 7 8 ). However, further analyses would be required to determine the age of the crosses. AMP5 is similar to the AMP2, AMP3 and AMP4 mummies; the hands were crisscrossed on the chest, an indication of his ecclesiastical authority as a priest. The height of the bundle was 164 cm, and its maximum width was 70 cm. AMP5 was a male priest based on t he preserved genitals and the status, and was a middle aged adult. The body had been wrapped in a cotton sheet and animal hides. The cotton cloth that covered the face and chest was damaged. Fortunately, pieces of the hides and cotton cloth were preserved. Rectangular shaped cross AMC5 on AMD1 A rectangular shaped cross (AMC5) was discovered on AMD1 ( Figure 7 9 ). AMC5 was 6 cm by 4 cm. The cross was tethered around the neck of AMD1 and was well preserved ( Figure 7 10 ). A crescent shaped engraving ran from the center to the four corners. The meaning or the symbolic representation requires further archaeological research. AMD1 was found in an erect position inside the cave monastery ( Figure 7 9 ). It was wrapped with a cotton sheet and a palm m at. Most of the materials buried with AMD1 had decom posed. However, parts of the palm mat and gabi (cotton sheet) still attached to the postcranial body part. The length and width of the mummy were 165 cm by 70 cm.
180 The hand was placed over the shoulder, r epresenting the functional title of a deacon. The ecclesiastical title of deacon is given only to men. The orientation of the hands (fingers) are more important in determining whether AMD2 was a priest, deacon, a monk or a nun than any other body part. The finger arrangement and placement on the shoulder clearly demonstrated that AMD1 was a deacon. Based on the EOC traditional customary law, my physical observations, the report of the locals and a religious text, AMD1 was determined to be a young adult. Lif afetsidik and cross were material artifacts recovered with AMD1, but it is rarely possible to obtain the time of death from a Lifafetsidik AMD1 revealed no trauma or pathological conditions. The cause of death was unknown Rectangular shaped cross AMC6 on AMM1 A rectangular cross was attached to the body using a cotton cord ( Figure 7 11 ). The size of AMC6 is similar to AMC5 (6 cm by 4 cm) ( Figure 7 12 ). AMM1 was discovered in an erect position in the storage section of the cave and was wrapped with a gabi and palm mat. Even though it was tethered with a cotton r ope, its state of preservation wa s excellent. The cotton trade rope used to tether the palm carpet wa s still intact and was not affected by decomposition. A wrapped cotton sheet was glued to the body but the adhesive materials used in the wrapping could not be identified. T he bundle of AMM1 measured 173 cm high by 85 cm wide. The estimated age class of AMM1 was an older adult based on social status, physical examination and religious text. It was not possible to see any trauma or pathological condition on AMM1. The cotton sh eet wrapped around AMM1 completely covered the mummy. Because of this complete wrapping, the monastery supervisory committee did not allow untethering
181 and unwrapping of the cotton sheet for further visual examination. Even though the gabi completely covere d the body, the position of AMM1 provides a clue to the status of the mummy. Corpse identification relie d on the relative arrangement of the hand and placement of the fingers on the eyes or ears, the text attached to AMM1 and knowledge of local monks priests and elders. A small wooden cross and Lifafetidik found on AMM1 were still intact and attached to the body. The wooden cross is rectangular in shape and tethered to the middle part of the mummy. A local priest, who explained that the texts were re ligious in content, deciphered the Lifafetsidik text about the life of AMM1. Circular cross AMC7 on AMM2 AMC7 was discovered on AMM2 ( Figure 7 13 ). The cross was tet hered using a leather cord. AMC7 is similar to AMC1 on AMP2, which showed contemporaneity between the two mummies. This kind of circularly designed and uniquely engraved cross is not currently in use. Most of the designs are unfamiliar to the local priests and monks in the cave monastery ( Figure 7 14 ) AMM2 was uncovered in a standing position inside the temporary storage facility at the back of the cave monastery. Pres ervation of the mummy was intentional. AMM2 wrapped with a gabi appearance is impressive. However, most of the information regarding AMM2 was destroyed during the renovation process. The bundl e height was 175 cm with a maximum width of 69 cm. B ased on macroscopic examination and information from local elders, the mummy was estimated to be a middle aged adult. Initially, AMM2 was misdiagnosed as a priest because his hands partly crisscrossed eac h other. Later, reevaluation of the arrangement of the
182 fingers and the absolute position of each side of the hand exhibited confirmation of AMM2 as a monk. The sex of AMM2 was determined based on the presence of the male genital organ. Evidence of patholo gical conditions was observed on AMM2. A facia l feature of AMM2 was unusual compared to other mummies. Unlike other mummies, the mouth was unusually wide open. The teeth displayed significant decay. No sign of injuries or insect damage was detected on the death is unknown. Natural causes were most likely responsible for his death, as there was no significant evidence for pathology or trauma. X Ray scanning would reveal more information, but unfortunately, an X Ray machine is very difficult to find in Ethiopia. Only a few portable X Ray machines are located in the country. An attempt to secure a mobile X Ray device from Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa was unsuccessful. Rectangular stone cross AMC8 on AMN2 AMC8 was a small rectangular stone cros s buried and recovered with AMN2 ( Figure 7 15 ). The cross is tethered to the neck of AMN2. However, the hanger was untethered and barely holding the cross ( Figure 7 16 ). The fresh cut at the tip of the leather cord indicates that it occurred du ring the process of renovations AMN2 was foun d in an erect position inside the corrugated room depository. AMN2 was carefully taken out for visual observation and documentation. The cotton sheet and the palm mat used to wrap AMN2 were decomposed. Only a small portion of the cotton sheet and markings of the palm mat survived as evidence. The lack of proper preservation of the wrappings affects the integrity of the mummy. Moreover, the mummified body had star ted to disintegrate as it was moved from place to place for the
183 e xpansion of the cave monastery. The bundl e height measurement was 152 cm with a width of 59 cm. The age o f AMN2 was estimated between 50 and 60 years old. The status and identity of the mummy, based on the orientation of the hand, was determined to be a nun. Lifafetidik was found on AMN 2. It was one of the most important pieces of text providing a clue to the life of AMN2. Although the script was partly damaged, Deacon Yibzawork Mesfin, a minister at the local monastery, deciphered it. Most of the texts are religious biographies of the d eceased individual and contain valuable information about their age, status and sex. They provide information regarding the sex, name and status of the person. The script also reveals some of the traditional beliefs that contradict the Orthodox belief syst em. Anthropomorphic shaped leather cross AMC9 on AMN 3 A MC9 is an anthropomorphic shaped leather cross that was uncovered with AMN3. It was tethered with leather cord. However, the hanger on the neck of AMN3 was untethered, and material evidence associate d with it was lost The symbolic representation of the crosses was similar to all sites, such as the YK, AM and DS. Specifically, the Coptic Church in Egypt and the Christian Church in Nubia used crosses similar to those used by the Eastern Orthodox Church where there is a resemblance between the crosses ( Figure 7 17 & Figure 7 18 ) AMN3 was discovered in an erect position at the depository in the cave and was wrapp ed in a cotton sheet and a palm mat. Most of the wrapping materials were preserved. The bundle height measurement was 154 cm with a maximum width of 53
184 cm. The hand had been init ially placed on the ear and eye of the deceased but gradually retreated to the chest of the mummy. The arrangement of the palm and the hand indicated that the mummy was a nun. AMN3 was estimated to be an old aged adult female. Sex determination of AMN3 was performed mainly from a physical examination, which revealed the presence of breasts. AMN3 displayed no evidence of trauma or pathological infection that significantly altered the physical structu re of the body. However, there we re some marks of postmort em impacts on the cranial and postcranial parts of the body. Burial Coffins and Wrapping Materials The mummified humans remain located in the YK, DS and AM were wrapped mostly using a cotton sheet and palm mat. Most importantly, a palm mat was used in mo st occasions and played an instrumental role in the preservation of the mummies. For instance, a deceased body buried in a coffin inside the monastery was completely decayed and skeletonized. Of the total of 221 mummies, 63% were wrapped with a cotton shee t and a palm mat ( Table 5 3 & Figure 7 20 ). Mummifications in the DS, AM and YK Study Sites Off the total 221 mummies, only 2% (5) were documented as natural mummification where there was no alter ation to their body (Chapters 6 and 7). Class II mummification is a purposeful exploitation of the natural process and alleviating the challenge of the limited window of natural preservation; hence, called enhanced mummification. Embalmers (Genizah) exploited and enhanced the natural process to preserve the mummies. A total of 33% (74) of the 221 mummies belong ed to Class II or enhanced m ummification. Class III mummification is a deliberate innervation by the genizah soon after death to improve long term preservation of soft tissue (Aufde rheide
185 2004). A total of 11% ( 24) of mummies categorized as Class III or artificially mummified human r emains. Some of the mummies 11% ( 24 ) belonged to Class IV or spiritual mummification ( Table 7 3 ). Class IV Mummification is a mental mummification where the process st arts long time before death. The majority of the mummies 53% ( 118) belonged to Class IV or spiritual mummification ( Table 7 3 ) Dating and Isotope Analysis Radiocarbon Dating of Teeth Dating of mummies in the AM, DS and YK is important to establish ing chronology in Ethiopia and its relationship with other contemporaneous cultures. Dating might reveal contemporaneity with mummification practices in Nubia and Egypt. Regardless of the anticipated dating outcome, it is crucial to establish a chronology and gain knowledge about traditions of mummification in the country. Four samples were submitted for radiocarbon dating at the Lalonde AMS Laboratory, University o f Ottawa, in Canada. These samples were obtained from the DS and YK. However, attempted efforts to extract samples from the AM were unsuccessful, as the mummified remains were considered sacred. Radiocarbon dating is an appropriate method to date such hist orical sites. The Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) technique used analyzes small samples to obtain chronometric age. The Lalonde AMS Laboratory used pretreatment methods modeled after the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU) (Brock et al. 2010). Before samples were submitted, I discussed the contextual data regarding nature of extraction and extent of contamination where the samples must be treated accordingly to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the results. They were highly contaminated and the lab determined appropriate cleansing procedures to decontaminate the teeth. Consequently, the lab
186 inspected three teeth samples and hind skin for visible contaminants to determine the appropriate physical pretreatment. Contaminants such as dust, soil, discolorations, shellac and preservatives from the exterior parts of the samples were cleaned. The decontaminated samples were loaded into a percu ssion mortar and crushed until they became a coarse powder. Only the root part of the teeth was used and the reminder was kept for future laboratory analysis. The remaining part of all the teeth was reused for the purpose of i sotope analysis. Dr. Xioa Lei Zhao performed the analysis of mass spectrometry and Dr. W.E. Kieser, D irector of the lab, approved the result ( Figure 7 21 ). Unfortunately, all four samples have a carbon 14 signature chara cteristic of approximately 1700 1955, because of the Seuss Effect, where natural carbon 14 signature s were affe cted by the burning of a fossil (Chapter 8) Isotope Analysis of Hair and Bone Samples Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen ( 13C/12C ) have a broad array of application in archaeology (e.g., Chrisholm et al. 19 82; Ambrose 1993; Macko et al. 1999a; Katzenberger 2000; Leach et al. 2001; Richards et al. 2001; Hedges and Reynard 2007). More specifically, t he application of isotope analysis using bone, teeth and hair provides valuable data regarding diet reconstructi on (Ambrose 2003; Basha et al 2016), status variations (Ambrose 2003; Reitsema 2012) and gender difference (Ambrose 2003). The rationale behind isotope analysis is based on the variation in the number of unstable and stable isotopes. Stable isotopes are often unchanging in a biological system but unstable isotopes change and must be replenished for the organism to exist, where plants produce their own food through the process of photosynthesis and the remaining
187 organisms depend on each other, called the t rophic level. At the base of the trophic level, plants produce their food through two principal processes of photosynthesis, C3 and C4, with C3 plants being most trees, herbs and shrubs and crops such as wheat, barley and rice, while C4 plants are arid ada pted grasses, but also include important economic crops such as maize and millet (communication with Dr. Krigbaum). Differential variation of the stable isotopes of carbon during photosynthesis causes C3 and C4 plants to have a distinctive and measurable c arbon isotope signature. Thus, the variation in the unstable and stable carbon isotope ratios (13C/12C) is valuable in paleodietary analysis. During the field seasons of 2014 and 2015, hair and teeth samples were collected from the DS and YK cave monasteri es. Acquiring these samples was difficult, as the mummies are regarded as sacred. However, after several efforts, I was able to collect the samples carefully and recorded each properly. I explained the importance of my work to the supervisory committee, pa rticularly how the results would benefit the local people in particular and the country in general. Some of the benefits include: the results may assist in the process of nominating the location as a World Heritage site, the study may attract more professi onals and tourists through academic publication, and creating awareness about the condition of the mummies to initiate the process of their preservation. Sampled teeth and hair from human remains from the YK and DS sit es are included in this study. The fi rst site, the YK, includes 11 individuals, whe re 9 samples are t eeth (YKP1, YKP2, YKP3, YKP4, YKP5, YKP6, YKM9, YKM 20, and YKM26 ) and one sample is hair ( YKM3 ). The second site DS, includes five individuals where four
188 are teeth ( DSP1, DSP8, DSF28 and DSM6) and one sample is hair (DSM2) Tooth and samples collected in 2013 were sent to the University of Ottawa mainly due to easier access where the problem of shipping and handling issue s are addressed with in a day since I reside in Ottawa. Each tooth and hair samples was assigned a unique number at the Lalonde AMS Lab at the University of Ottawa. However, to interpret the result s from this L ab, and analysis of new samples collected in 2015 were sent to Dr. John Krigbaum who directs the Bone Chemistry L ab (BCL) in the Department of Anthropology, at the University of Florida. Each tooth s ample was assigned a unique number at the Bone Chemistry Lab ( BCL) The method used and result s prepared by Dr. John Krigbaum are presented as follows Small samples of tooth enamel (<100 mg) were cut from the tooth using a Brassler dental drill and cutting wheel and the sampled enamel was cleaned using an abrading carbide drill bit mounted to a stationary Brassler dental drill. Each tooth enamel sample was completely cle aned of debris and adhering dentine and then ca. 20 mg of tooth enamel was ground using an acid cleaned agate mortar and pestle, weighed and loaded into a labeled microcentrifuge tube for chemical pretreatment. Pretreatment steps included an eight hour oxi dation procedure to remove potential organics using 50:50 dilute d bleach solutions after which samples were centrifuged and rinsed in distilled and de ionized water (DDI H 2 O) to neutral neutralize them Samples were then pretreated in 0.2 M acetic acid to remove secondary carbonates. Samples were then centrifuged and rinsed in DDI H 2 O to neutral pH and then placed in a freezer. Once frozen, samples were loaded into a freeze drier and after 48 hours, were ready for analysis using isotope ratio mass spectrom etry (IRMS).
189 Dr. Jason Curtis (Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida) performed the mass spectrometry on these samples. For each sample, ca. 600 micrograms of prepared tooth enamel powder was loaded into separate acid cleaned vials and r eacted with 100% orthophosphoric acid at 70 C using a Kiel III carbonate preparation device attached to a Finnigan MAT 252 IRMS. Evolved CO 2 gas for each sample was measured separately online using the IRMS and data are reported in standard delta notation relative to established standards: VPDB (Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite) for carbon and oxygen results. Anal ytical precision was 0.030 for d 13 C and 0.070 for d 18 O based on NBS 19 standards ( 8) run during analysis.
190 Table 7 1 Crosses discovered from the AM cave monastery. Cross C ode Mummy code Cross length Cross Shape Cross engravings AMC1 AMP2 6 cm Circular Wooden cross an engraved with geometric square symbols. AMC2 AMP3 25 cm Anthropomorphic Wooden cross and lines radiate from the intersection to all corners. AMC3 AMP4 11 cm Anthropomorphic Wooden cross and lines radiate fr om the intersection to all four corners AMC4 AMP5 06 cm Rectangular Wooden cross and four lines radiate from center to each corner. AMC5 AMD1 06 cm Rectangular Wooden cross and two spears with sharp edges. AMC6 AMM1 06 cm Rectangular Wooden cross and two spears with sharp edges. AMC7 AMM2 07 cm Circular Wooden cross and two spears with sharp edges. AMC8 AMN2 06 cm Rectangular Stone cross and four lines radiate from each rectangle on to each corner. AMC9 AMM3 05 cm Anthropomorphic Wooden cross and two spears with sharp edges. Table 7 2 State of wrapping condition. Wrapping condition Number of mummies Percent Cotton and mat 142 64 Hide and mat 29 13 Unwrapped 50 23 Total 221 100 Table 7 3 T ypes of mummification in the study sites Types of Mummification No mummies Percent Class I Natural 5 2 Class II Enhance 74 33 Class III Artificial 24 11 Class IV Spiritual 118 53 Total 221 100
191 Figure 7 1 AMP2. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
192 Figure 7 2 Anthropomor phic shaped cross (AMC1) on AMP2 Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
193 Figure 7 3 AMP3. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
194 Figure 7 4 Anthropomorphic shaped cross (AMC2) on AMP3. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
195 Figure 7 5 AMP4. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
196 Figure 7 6 Anthropomorphic shaped cross (AMC3) on AMP4. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
197 Figure 7 7 AMP5. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
198 Figure 7 8 Rectangular shaped cross (AMC4) on AMP5. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
199 Figure 7 9 AMD1. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
200 Figure 7 10 Rectangular shaped cross (AMC5) on AMD1. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
201 Figure 7 11 AMD1. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
202 Figure 7 12 Rectangular shaped cross ( AMC6 ) on AMP3. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
203 Figure 7 13 AMM1. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
204 A B Figure 7 14 Anthropomorphic shaped cross ( AMC7 ) on AMM2. A) the front B) the back of the cross. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
205 Figure 7 15 AMN2. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
206 A B Figure 7 16 A rectangular shaped stone cross ( AMC8 ) on AMN2. A) The front with four lon g engravings and B) the back with 16 short engravings Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
207 Figure 7 17 AMN3. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
208 Figure 7 18 AMC9 is anthropomorphic shaped leather cross that was discovered on AMN2. It is found on the right side hand fingers. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
209 Figure 7 19 Burial c offin. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
210 Figure 7 20 State of wrapping condition across the study site. Cotton and mat 64% Unwrapped 23% Hide and mat 13%
211 Figure 7 21 Calibrated Carbon 14 results
212 CHAPTER 8 DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Chapter 8 presents a brief discussion, conclusion and recommendations. The issue of conservation of mummies is also briefly explained. It also outlines future research direction. Discussion s As outlined in Chapter 1, this dissertation is a bioarchaeological and osteological approach to studying the life and death of ancient and medieval Ethiopian priests. Thousands of remarka bly well preserved mummified bodies of priests and other unidentified individuals were found in the Amhara Regio n of Ethiopia dating from the twelfth to the twentie th centuries. In this study, the AM, DS and YK cave monasteries included mainly because of the presence of exceptionally well preserved mummified human remains revealed diachronic changes, places of peace and power, and provided clues about Christian Orthodox burial tradition. The objective of conducting rescue excavation was added to the dis sertation to counter balance the restricted access to mummies in the AM cave monastery and the unprecedented opportunity to excavate the site to better understand mummification traditions. Social status and burial tradition. The classification of social sta tus was based s monks, deacons, nuns and followers. The first four of these groups reflect achieved social status in the EOC. However, followers might attain either an achieved or a n ascribed status. Followers who preferred the title of achieved status often paid an annual fee, prayed seven times a day and participated in community church services. These people
213 often led a monastic life. However, the majority of followers were nomina l followers who attained ascribed status. Ascribed status is also given to the king of kings and head of the EOC, who came to power mostly due to bloodline. Apparently, most of the Aksumite kings and Solomonic Dynasty claim their descendancy to King Solomo n of Jerusalem. However, the Zagwe Dynasty kings, believed to be power usurpers, assumed the kingship and head of the EOC, where the church approved their legitimacy an d sanctified some of the kings of k ing YK and Lalibela as saints. Regardless, most kin gs assumed ascribed status over the church. Status determination for each mummy was based on non metric assessment, textual analysis and the knowledge of local elders. Most importantly, identification of social status from mummies for this study was prima rily based on the orientation of the hand. The religious text buried with the mummy, known locally as Lifafetsidik also provided valuable insight into the status of the individual. The DS cave monastery has been under reconstruction since 2010. Fortunate ly, the study was also carried out during the same time renovations occurred and therefore, aligned perfectly with the interest of the stakeholders. Three localities were selected based on surface findings, proximity to the old church, hauling/transporting distance to dump the excavated soil and the structure of the grave (Chapter 5). In these localities, eight burial graves were discovered where 13 individual mummified bodies were exhumed from the in situ deposit. Limited grave goods, religious texts and c rosses were recovered, a typical characteristic of Christian burial in Ethiopia. Burial coffins were found in the DS, AM and YK. They were prepared mostly from a wooden log. Mummies buried inside a coffin without palm mats were decomposed,
214 but mummies wrap ped with palm mats were preserved. Individuals buried in coffins had higher social status than those who were not interred in this way. Coffins were exclusively reserved for followers rather than for religious groups. Christian Orthodox burial orientation is uniform throughout the country all buried to rise toward the eternal East The status of an individual is the fundamental factor for the allocation of the burial space. The higher the status, the more likely is the chance of getting a desired spot. In most cases, burial space for the ecclesiastical authorities is designated in advance. The burial chamber starts from the inner spot inside the church, which was often reserved for the highest priest. For instance, according to oral tradition, both Abba Ber eded (founder of the DS) and Abune Melke Tsadik (founder of the AM) were buried inside the church. However, Yimerhane Kristos was entombed behind but close to the church. Most of the commoners were buried in the local open burial ground of a church closer to their neighborhood. The mortuary program is open to Christians and to those who claim allegiance to the Orthodox Church. However, burial g rounds near monasteries were exclusive to elites. In some cases, a person predetermines a burial place by his/her w ishes. Depending on the status of the deceased, the living negotiate and renegotiate based on the wishes of the deceased. These wishes are often associated with the ancestral spirit, and people tend to respect and implement the will, a document outlining t heir wishes before and after their death as stated by the deceased. Some people travel a long to the place the deceased indicated in the will document. Because of these unique circumstances, burial places are not strictly limited to the local communities.
215 According to the high priest in the church, multiple interments are very common in the DS, given the limited space inside the cave. Some of the burial graves, uncovere d and reported by the local communities during expansion of the cave, contain seven mummified bodies. Unfortunately, their identity and the reason they were interred in one burial chamber are unknown. The mummy at the top was the oldest in burial age wher eas the most recently deceased was at the bottom. When a new corpse was buried, it was covered with cotton and a timber mat. Plant remains; such as Juniper locally named Tsid and timber leaves were used between the interments. According to the priest a t the site, some of the burial graves have been used for generations. For example, when a member of the family passed away, the body could be buried in the same burial grave as previously deceased members. As such, it is common to find multiple corpses in a single grave. Another indication of the social status was the use of one burial grave for extended family members. The multiple burial graves defy the law of superposition, where the bottom is older than the upper. In contrast to this, the fresh corpse is always placed at the bottom of the grave in the DS. Gravediggers opened the grave and removed the old corpse and excavated the grave deeper to ensure it would accommodate the new and the previously deceased corpses. The fresh corpse is always placed at the bottom and the rest follow according to their original burial order. The entire process is strictly monitored, mainly to not upset the ancestral spirits who are believed to watch over the living.
216 In addition to the study sites, I have visited other pl aces to see burial coffins and their role in social stratification. For instance, in Debre Libano s, a monastery founded in the thirteen th century located 40 km north of Addis Ababa may represent the EOC mortuary tradition. In this site, followers have performed mummifica tion, single/multiple burials and primary/secondary interments. The interment situation in the Debre Libanos monastery is also diverse, ranging from barely prepared burial coffins to those well engraved and designed as the tradition expanded. It was mainly reserved for feudal landlords fr om the thirteen th century to the end of the period of Emperor Haile Selassie (1930 1974). Since the downfall of Haile Selassie, the tradition further expanded to the elite in the urban areas because of the commercializati on of death, where an elaborate bur ial practice was performed. Sex determination. Most of the mummies were extremely well preserved and thus made sex determination easier. Sexing mummies was based on macroscopic examination, consulting inscribed documents and multiple morphological attribu tes. Standardized non metric traits, such as mastoid process, nuchal crest and supraorbital margin, were used to determine the sex of the crania (Chapter 7). Moreover, Lifafetsidik was an important document used to determine the sex of an individual mum my. M ummies were regarded as the male and female servant of God, as Legeberke and Leametike respectively for sex identification. The question is, what can the sex distribution of mummies tell us in the cave monasteries? It is obvious that there is a differen ce between male s and female s in medieval Ethiopia, but how extreme was such differentiation in accessing critical resources? Monasteries were built in very inaccessible places. Thus, traveling to the
217 sites requires physical strength, spiritual commitments, the ability to afford the trip and social status. In ancient and medieval Ethiopia, men tended to control resource centers. It is not surprising that the number of male mummies was almost three times greater than the number of the females. The data were c onsistent with the tradition where men had more access to privileged burial sites than women. As indicated in Chapter 7, the mortuary program data a re skewed to men leads to the question of wh ere were the rest of the women buried The rest of the women and other non elite groups were buried in the open burial grave near their local churches. Thus, the monast eries were reserved for clergy and elite class of medieval Ethiopia. Age determination. Age estimation is based on the study of biological variations th at take place throughout life and could offer pieces of evidence regarding age at death (White et al. 2011). An age at death distribution curve was skewed to the cohort of middle aged adults (Chapter 7). Although the data are limited, they could show a hig her age at death for the middle age group, followed by the old age group. The lowest age at death was recorded for child age group. Age at death may show shorter lifespan. Cause of Death Various scholars have offered different hypotheses for the causes o f death of the ancient Egyptian mummies. Some of the major causes proposed were malnutrition and infection by parasites (Roseau 1978), possible spread of infection (Melcher et al. 1997), pneumonia (Walker et al. 1987), possible trauma (Mininberg 2001), par ietal skull fracture (Hoffman and Hudgins 2002), serious cranial injury (Gallino and Santamaria 1995) and homicide (Nerlich et al. 2000). Causes of death for the mummies were inferred based on physical examination of the corpses and sifting through histor ical records for any period of plagues and
218 starvation. Data regarding physical examination collected at the site were later followed by detailed analysis of the photographs taken in the field. I was looking for positive identification of evidence markers p reserved on the cadaver. The Lifafetsidik provided information about the personal biography that was used as a means of positive identification. The trauma and pathology preserved on the mummies in the study sites provided positive identification of the ca use of death. These pieces of evidence were supported mainly by soft tissue and bone insult preservation. The majority of the mummies revealed no evidence for the causes of their death. However, some of them provided unique evidence into past violence. Mu mmies from Ethiopia provide a direct clue about violence and trauma of the past population in the study area. One of the significant advantages of studying a mummified tissue is to uncover what happened in the past, which would not otherwise be recovered f rom bones. Hence, bones are amenable to more consistent and prolonged insult than soft tissues. In other words, soft tissues are more susceptible to pathology and trauma. Nancy (2007) reported that 75% of sharp force trauma impacts cause either significan t injuries or death. It is evident from the extent of mutilation that this was the cause of death, often from prolonged bleeding. Multiple evidence of stabbing observed on AMF57 ribs, which signals her violent death ( Figure 8 1 ) Proof of blunt force trauma was revealed on the mummy found in the AM. However, no evidence of gunshots was discovered from the DS or YK cave monasteries. The cause of death for the majority of mummies was not ascertained partly because of the limited availability of samples and lack of access to advanced noninvasive equipment such as CT scan and X ray machines. Additional
219 multidisciplinary palaeopathologica l research would have required gathering more relevant and valuable data to enhance our understanding about Ethiopian mummies. The preservation of AMD4 was excellent, which allowed evidence for severe trauma to be seen. The trauma included proof of stabbi ng There were multiple stabbing wounds on the chest near the area where the soft organs, such as lungs and heart, are located. AMD4 also showed round holes possibly due to the impact of a large iron shafted spear ( Figure 8 1 ). Similar stabbing was recorded on AMFM10. Multiple cut s on the hand, ribs and head were also observed on this body It provides a valuable insight into the nature of conflict during the life of AM FM10 The severity of the trauma was strong enough to be life threatening and might have led to the violent death of AMFM10 ( Figure 8 1 ) Paleopathology. Proof of lepr osy and imbalanced diets, causing diseases such as rickets and goiter, were observed in the AM cave church. Leprosy is an ancient infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae that results in disfiguring skin nerves and bone damage in the arms and legs ( Figure 8 2 ) Archaeological findings of this ancient disease contain five strains. However, no tests were conducted to distinguish present from past strains. Further biomedical analysis is needed to enhance our understanding of the disease. On the other hand, the social consequences of leprosy are much more severe than the disease. According to information from the AM, the victims of the disease b ecame outcasts due to ill conceived hereditary transmission of the disease. Consequently, those infected were banned from serving as religious leaders in the past Goiter was also discovered on AMFF24, indicating the shortage of iodine in the area ( Figure 8 3 ).
220 Another age related pathology is the parietal thinning ( Figure 8 4 ) whi ch was known since eighteen th century (Cederlund & Olivecrona 1982). The thinning is attributed to various factors such as a non progressive congenital dysplasia of the diploe, p ost menopausal and senile osteoporosis (Dutta 1969; Luk et al. 2010), progress ive disease and not an anatomic variant (Luk et al. 2010), and continuous pressure from the exterior (Dutta 1969; Luk et al. 2010) Fordisc 3.1 analysis As explained in Chapter 7, the inclusion of all samples in ADB resulted in an unexpected result. Thus in consultation with C.A Pound Lab, University of Florida, we excluded the unlikely candidate such as the Japanese, Vietnamese and Hispanic population from the Fordisc 3.1. when Howells series Fordisc 3.1 of possible could not effectively categorize the majority of the sample. Perhaps the resemblance was due to the small skull size. When the initial parameter of using all the Forensic Data Bank in Fordisc 3.1 imitated, the result was significantly different. It classifies the crania into Dogon Mali, Egypt Gizeh, 600 200 BC, Teita S.E. Kenya, Bantu speaking, Zulu South Africa, Black, and White. Regardless of our effort to exclude the unlikely candidate, only few of the m were categorized to Egyptian. The absences of Ethiopian skull s on the Forensic Data Bank limited the ability of Fordisc applicability to only represented samples. The presence of high genetic admixture in craniofacial form of a given population remains stable through generational time and is largely res ( Belcher & Armelagos 2005, p. 340 ). Ethiopia is a melting pot for the genetic admixture mainly with Middle East and Europe. Fordisc is more appropriate to American population where there are substantial data
221 representations on the Forensic Data Bank. Thus, applic ati on of Fordisc to Ethiopian population is limited. The inclusion of the YK data set into the Forensic Data Bank could alleviate the problem of reference population and thereby expand the application of Fordisc. Type of mummification As explained in Chapter 2, mummification is divided into four class es namely Class I or natural mummification, Class II or enhanced mummification, Class III or artificial mummification and Class IV or spiritual mummification. Class I is the result of natu ral desiccation where the body is quickly dehydrated. Decomposition was arrested by hot, or cold conditions, yet, optimal to permit spontaneous mummification. Jeremiah (2014) argues that extreme hot or cold weather is needed for the natural mummification. He further explains that the right types of soil, preservative fungi and allowing body fluids to drain, and other conditions are the catalyst needed to permit natural mummification. Cave environments are consistently dry and hot during the daytime but col d at the nighttime. Such alternating change s of temperature arrest the growth of the microorganism and provide pref erred optimal conditions for spontaneous mummification. Ho wever, such weather conditions are not attained throughout the year, as there are f our distinct seasonal fluctuations in Ethiopia. Consequently, natural mummification has occurred during at a limited window. As a result, some of the mummies were preserved extremely very well while others were skeletonized. Class I was the cheapest form o f mummification as no extra cost is needed and was possibly used by those who could not afford elaborate mummification.
222 Class IV mummification or mental mummification is a deli berate and painful process taking several decades, where monks and nuns engage d in a perio d of seclusion, self mutilation and prayer for an extended time. According to oral tradition in the AM and DS, it is customary for the monks and nuns to practice longer period s of prayer and fasting for years. The gradual reduction of their die t continues to the extent the y could survive without any food Monastery documents revealed that Abune Mel ke Tsadik and Abba Bereded went under periods of seclusion, self mutilation and praying for forty days and night. Unlike other groups, the practic e of self mummification lifetime. As a result, a ll the Priests, Monks and N uns are categorized as spiritual mummification or preferably mental mummification Absolute and relative dating Although the result s obtained from the mummies were affected by several factors such as the likelihood of sampling the oldest mummy, contamination, and Seuss Effect, a new chronometric dating of YK revealed an interesting result, where the site w as dated back to the eleventh century. New studies revealed based on Carbon 14, the church was dated eleventh century (communication with Mengistu). Thus, the mummies might have been i nterred sometime in the twelfth century According to monasteries records, the AD and DS cave monaster ies were dated to Emperor Beide Mariam (1468 1478) The stratigraphic section of the monasteries also provided a series of occupational layers. Dating the layer s could reveal important information about the chronological age of the area. D iet analysis All samples analyzed produced good results. The two individuals from the DS site produced quite disparate results to one another with respect to d 13 C which suggests that these two individuals were not part of the same community during
223 the period when their r espective teeth w ere forming (the d 13 C value for DS With respect to d 18 O values, the two DS individuals averaged what may be expected from the Horn of Africa during the later Holocene. The five individuals from the YK si te averaged 13 C and 0.6 d 18 O These data suggest that the individuals represented in the YK sample had a predomina ntly C3 based diet. Again, the d 18 O values observed seem consistent with eastern Africa and do not inform on the dietary patterns observed from the carb on isotope ratios derived from tooth enamel for these two separate sample populations. Conclusion Religion and mummification practices are closely interrelated in Ethiopia and Eritrea. However, the origin of mummification in the Horn of Africa is dubious After studying the tradition of mummification for many years, my hypothesis is that spontaneous/natural mummification began during an unknown time in the past when people used to live in caves. Cave environments provided suitable conditions for preservin g organic materials. Hence, natural mummification showed the way for the origin of mum mification in Ethiopia, which was later consolidated with the introduction of artificial mummification. The earliest artificial mummification in the country is associated with early monastic life during the introduction of Christianity in to Ethiopia. The tradition of mummification further expanded with the subsequent arrival of the Nine Saints. The rulers of ancient and medieval Ethiopia may have used mummification to cons olidate their power and control over the peasants, who represented the majority of the
224 population. Most of the medieval kings assume d the title of priest kings, as they we re kings of the kingdom and heads of EOC. It is be lieved that mummified bodies are ev erlasting, where the body neither perishes nor decays for ages, signifying the religious importance of mummification. It is all about p ower (the power of the living versus the power of the ancestral spirit) To further explain, mummification is about the p ower of the living (deceased family) over the living where they prepared the deceased in desired manner to project their power even by redefining the wishes of the dead. Thus, the practice of elaborate mummification has been a means to negotiate and renego tiate the power of the living by the living or alternatively the power of the dead by the living. In a way, the mummified was used as a means to protect the living from evil (Aufderheide 2003; Cockburn et al. 2003 ; Jeremiah 2014; Koller et al 2005; Taylor 2001). For example, in Konso, southern Ethiopia, a mummified king power to scare away the evil. Mummification is not a Christian tradition; hence, the body is irrelevant for resurrection, as no matter what happ ed to the body, it would be resurrected. As explained in Chapter 2, mummification certainly pr edates the Christian era, which ancient Egyptian s and Nubians practiced for Millennia. The tradition of mummification has been reconfigured, adapted and incorporated into Orthodox Christianity. Some of the traditions include pilgrims, relics, and orientation of burial and placement of hands on the body. Mona steries we re the powerhouses of m edieval Ethiopia to which people made pilgrim age s from inside and outside of the country. The objective was to be buried in a
225 holy place, a monastery. The use of relics where people took bits of the mummies for spiritual or physical healing purposes, a pre Christian tradition was incorporated and practiced by th e local people. The orientation of the burial tradition of eternal East is also a tradition that predated Christianity and was practiced by ancient Romans before the introduction of Christianity; it was later adopted by the Easter Orthodox Church. Another pre Christian tradition was the arrangement of the hand. For example, ancient replacing this with crisscrossing of the hands. Although the meaning and symbolic representation of the physical orientation are different, the orientation style of the priest might have been imitated from the ancient Egyptians, particularly by the Egyptian appointed patriarch of EOC. Hawass (2000) argues that the rise of Christianity was not a fact or for the decline of mummification practices in Egypt. The practice of mummification was not banned in any biblical text. Rather, the practice declined partly due to the impact of monasticism, where monks denounced the tradition. The termination of mummif ication was often associated with the conquest of the Arabs. In contrast to ancient Egyptian mummification, the practice of mummification in Ethiopia evolved and more than 75% of the mummies found in the study sites were categorized as mental mummific atio n/ It includes priests, monks and nuns. In Orthodox Christianity, emphasis is given to the soul rather than the body, as the latter is the vehicle to reach to the next world. The livings are still using the dead to reflect their socio cultural and religio us identity. Strangely mummification is neither officially permitted nor prohibited.
226 Recommendations Mummies and monasteries are a unique, tangible cultural heritage of ancient and medieval Ethiopia. However, mummies in partic ular and monasteries in gen eral, are facing imminent danger of destruction from multiple deterioration factors: A) Geological factors, mainly the rock formations and fractured ceilings, have already smashed and buried several mummies. B) climatic factor related to temperature fluctu ation as the local climate is constantly changing and gradually affecting the condition of preservation. C) Biological factors including rats, rodents, bats, insects ( Figure 8 5 ) mosses, bacteria and fungi pose an existential threat to the mummies (Mengistu 2004). D) The impact of local people and tourists, who take parts of a mummy for physical and spiritual healing. Some of the deterioration factors require immediate attention while others could be mitigated later. The study of mummies and mummification requires multi disciplinary research from a wide range of disciplines, mainly archaeology, osteology, bioarchaeology, biomedical and others to conduct holistic research and to answer various questions that may arise from each discipline. These monasteries must find a way to conserve the mummies. The mummies in their current condition may not last much longer because of the several deterioration factors m entioned above. For example, in the AM cave monastery, a museum was constructed for the mummies; the other monasteries should follow in the footsteps of the AM.
227 ARCCH should also advocate for the expansion of open archaeological sites in selected high vol ume tourist destination areas to preserve cultural heritage in one hand and promote tourism in the country. The YK monastery well exceeds the requirements of UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, one of the greatest heritages of medieval Ethio pia, which is almost a century older than Lalibela, is not inscribed in the World Heritage List. management plan for the inscription and inclusion of the site. Future Studies Recent advances in science and technology significantly revolutionized the study of mummies and mummification. The use of computerized tomography (CT) scanning, advanced portable X raying, dating, isotopic and DNA analysis and new methods permitted noninva sive extraction of data (Hawass et al. 2016). For example, CT scanning and advanced software applications made the digital reconstruction of mummies possible without altering their condition. The Geez script buried with the mummies needed further analysis It contains substantial information about the bodies, possibly about the mummification practices. Similar mummies are found in different monasteries throughout the country, which are not yet studied. Further research in the area could provide more knowle dge about barely known mummification tradition in Ethiopia.
228 Figure 8 1 M ultiple sta b bin g on the hand, ribs and skull of AMFM10. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
229 Figure 8 2 The leg of AMFF5 severely damaged by Leprosy Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
230 Figure 8 3 Mummified and well preserved goiter on AMFF 24 Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
231 Figure 8 4 YK 57 biparietal resorption or bilateral concentric parietal thinning. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
232 Figure 8 5 T aphonomic impact inscect feeding on the mummies. Photo credit: Abiyot 2013
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244 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Abiyot Debebe Seifu was born in 1979 in Addele Arsi, Ethiopia. As a child, he dreamed of becoming an archaeolog ist after hearing many reports about the discovery to become an anthropologist. D r. Abiyot has eight years of teaching experience at three universities and two community colleges in Ethiopia. He has participated in numerous committees and field schools in the host institute of Hawassa University (HU). He has a Masters of Art in Archaeology and has received his PhD from the University of Florida. He is passionate about tea ching archaeology and conducting archaeological fieldwork. Dr. Abiyot chronologically as follows. In 2001, he began his teaching career immediately after graduating from university in Ethiop ia. He taught history courses to undergraduate students at Debub Ethiopia College and worked as a part time lecturer at Awassa Teachers Training College. He taught for four years and his students were able to teach in various parts of Ethiopia, where forma l education faced a staggering shortage of well trained professionals. In 2007, he graduated with an MA degree in Archaeology from Addis Ababa Tutiti Megalithic site in nd was supervised by Dr. Yonas Gebresellassie. He was able to acquire extensive knowledge in archaeology and heritage management. He joined the Social Science faculty in the Department of Anthropology in 2008 as a lecturer at Hawassa University (HU). While there, he taught undergraduate courses in Archaeological Field Methods, African Archaeology, Ethnoarchaeology, Prehistoric
245 and Classical Archaeology, Heritage Management and Tourism. He was also an adjunct lecturer for the same courses at Dilla University While providing a valuable educational service to his students at HU, Dr. Abiyot actively participated in various committees, specifically: Curriculum Design, Purchasing, Social Science Research Forum and Curriculum Modularization. In addition, he was th e coordinator of the Educational Field Trip for two years in the Department of Anthropology. While on the educational field trips organized for different groups to the southern, southwestern and northern part of the country, he witnessed the vulnerability of cultural heritage to both natural and human agents. Most of the archaeological sites in these parts of the country are exposed to erosion and weathering. Moreover, the sites are also affected by rapid expansion of settlement, farming and development pro jects. Nevertheless, protecting these and other aspects of Ethiopian cultural heritage is seen as a drag on economic progress and a frivolous pursuit during tough economic times. This is evident when one sees that major construction projects such as dam s, road expansion, towns and mining activities are given precedence over Cultural Heritage Management (CHM). These development activities absorb billions of dollars from both government and international organizations, yet little of this funding is alloc ated toward CHM on these projects. In 2009, Dr. Abiyot undertook collaborative archaeological research on the Tuitti Stele Site with Professor Roger Joussaume. The fieldwork included archaeological excavation, mapping the topography and uprighting fallen steles. Earlier in 2005, as a graduate student, he participated in the Kaffa Archaeological Research Project directed
246 and codirected by Drs. Hildebrand and Brandt, respectively. He also led anthropology students in archaeological fieldwork. In 2010, Dr. Ab iyot joined the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida as a doctoral student. He successfully completed the course work and was admitted to Ph.D. candidacy on April 8, 2013. He has received his PhD in Anthropology from University of Florid a in 2016. \