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UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tiya vue d'ensemble.JPG
State Party  Ethiopia
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iv
Reference 12
Region** Africa
Inscription history
Inscription 1980  (4th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Tiya is a town in southern Ethiopia. Located in the Gurage Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region south of Addis Ababa, the town has a latitude and longitude of 8°26′N 38°37′E / 8.433°N 38.617°E / 8.433; 38.617.

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

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

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


  1. ^ Matt Philips and Jean-Bernard Carillet, Ethiopia and Eritrea, third edition (n.p.: Lonely Planet, 2006), p. 171
  2. ^ "Local History in Ethiopia" (pdf) The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 31 May 2008)
  3. ^ CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.4

Further reading

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

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Tiya is a town in Southern Ethiopia.


Tiya is best known for a large prehistoric burial complex with 36 standing stones, most of which are engraved with symbols. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

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