Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 December 2008
Research has recently resumed at Aksum, capital of a major state which flourished in what is now northern Ethiopia and Eritrea during the early centuries ad. A wide-ranging investigation is planned into many aspects of Aksumite civilization. This paper summarizes results from the first season's work on the setting and symbolic meaning of the monumental stelae for which the site is justly famous, as well as on the technology which they illustrate. It is argued that the stelae were grave markers and that the tradition which they represent was substantially modified following the adoption of Christianity at Aksum in the fourth century.