D mt (Ge’ez: ደዐመተ, DʿMT theoretically vocalized as ዳዓማት, Daʿamat or ዳዕማት, Daʿəmat) was a kingdom located in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia that existed during the 10th and 5th centuries BC. Few inscriptions by or about this kingdom survive and very little archaeological work has taken place. As a result, it is not known whether Dʿmt ended as a civilization before the Kingdom of Aksum‘s early stages, evolved into the Aksumite state, or was one of the smaller states united in the Kingdom of Aksum possibly around the beginning of the 1st century.

 

Dʿmt (Unvocalized Ge'ez: ደዐመተ, DʿMT theoretically vocalized as ዳዓማት, *Daʿamat[2] or ዳዕማት, *Daʿəmat[3]) was a kingdom located in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia which existed between the 10th and 5th centuries BC. Few inscriptions by or about this kingdom survive and very little archaeological work has taken place. As a result, it is not known whether Dʿmt ended as a civilization before the Kingdom of Aksum's early stages, evolved into the Aksumite state, or was one of the smaller states united in the Kingdom of Aksum possibly around 150 BC.[4]

Kingdom of Dʿmt
ደዐመተ
980 BC–c. 650 BC
Dʿmt is given as "Damot" on this map, not to be confused with the later and more southwestern Kingdom of Damot.
Dʿmt is given as "Damot" on this map, not to be confused with the later and more southwestern Kingdom of Damot.
CapitalYeha[1]
GovernmentMonarchy
Historical eraIron Age
• Established
980 BC
• Disestablished
c. 650 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Land of Punt
Kingdom of Aksum

History

Given the presence of a large temple complex, the capital of Dʿmt may have been present day Yeha, in Tigray Region, Ethiopia.[1] At Yeha, the temple to the god Ilmuqah is still standing.[5]

The kingdom developed irrigation schemes, used plows, grew millet, and made iron tools and weapons.

Some modern historians including Stuart Munro-Hay, Rodolfo Fattovich, Ayele Bekerie, Cain Felder, and Ephraim Isaac consider this civilization to be indigenous, although Sabaean-influenced due to the latter's dominance of the Red Sea, while others like Joseph Michels, Henri de Contenson, Tekle-Tsadik Mekouria, and Stanley Burstein have viewed Dʿmt as the result of a mixture of Sabaeans and indigenous peoples.[6][7] Some sources consider the Sabaean influence to be minor, limited to a few localities, and disappeared after a few decades or a century, perhaps representing a trading or military colony in some sort of symbiosis or military alliance with the civilization of Dʿmt or some other proto-Aksumite state.[8][9]

Archaeologist Rodolfo Fattovich believed that there was a division in the population of Dʿmt and northern Ethiopia due to the kings ruling over the 'sb (Sabaeans) and the 'br, the 'Reds' and the 'Blacks'.[10] Fattovich also noted that the known kings of Dʿmt worshipped both South Arabian and indigenous gods named 'str, Hbs, Dt Hmn, Rb, Šmn, Ṣdqn and Šyhn.[10]

After the fall of Dʿmt in the 5th century BC, the plateau came to be dominated by smaller unknown successor kingdoms. This lasted until the rise of one of these polities during the first century BC, the Aksumite Kingdom.[11]

Known rulers

The following is a list of four known rulers of Dʿmt, in chronological order:[7]

Term Name Queen Notes
Dates from ca. 700 BC to ca. 650 BC
Mlkn Wʿrn Ḥywt ʿArky(t)n contemporary of the Sabaean mukarrib Karib'il Watar
Mkrb, Mlkn Rdʿm Smʿt
Mkrb, Mlkn Ṣrʿn Rbḥ Yrʿt Son of Wʿrn Ḥywt, "King Ṣrʿn of the tribe YGʿḎ [=Agʿazi, cognate to Ge'ez], mkrb of DʿMT and SB'"
Mkrb, Mlkn Ṣrʿn Lmn ʿAdt Son of Rbḥ, contemporary of the Sabaean mukarrib Sumuhu'alay, "King Ṣrʿn of the tribe YGʿḎ, mkrb of DʿMT and SB'"

Regions

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Shaw, Thurstan (1995), The Archaeology of Africa: Food, Metals and Towns, Routledge, p. 612, ISBN 978-0-415-11585-8
  2. ^ L'Arabie préislamique et son environnement historique et culturel: actes du Colloque de Strasbourg, 24–27 Juin 1987; page 264
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: A–C; page 174
  4. ^ Uhlig, Siegbert (ed.), Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: D-Ha. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005. p. 185.
  5. ^ Stuart Munro-Hay (2002). Ethiopia: The Unknown Land. I.B. Taurus. p. 18.
  6. ^ Stuart Munro-Hay, Aksum: An African Civilization of Late Antiquity. Edinburgh: University Press, 1991, p. 57.
  7. ^ a b Nadia Durrani, The Tihamah Coastal Plain of South-West Arabia in its Regional context c. 6000 BC – AD 600 (Society for Arabian Studies Monographs No. 4) . Oxford: Archaeopress, 2005, p. 121.
  8. ^ Munro-Hay, Aksum, p. 57.
  9. ^ Phillipson (2009). "The First Millennium BC in the Highlands of Northern Ethiopia and South–Central Eritrea: A Reassessment of Cultural and Political Development". African Archaeological Review. 26 (4): 257–274. doi:10.1007/s10437-009-9064-2. S2CID 154117777.
  10. ^ a b Fattovich, Rodolfo (1990). "Remarks on the Pre-Aksumite Period in Northern Ethiopia". Journal of Ethiopian Studies. 23: 17. ISSN 0304-2243. JSTOR 44324719.
  11. ^ Pankhurst, Richard K.P. Addis Tribune, "Let's Look Across the Red Sea I", January 17, 2003 (archive.org mirror copy)

 

Kingdom of Damot

The Kingdom of Damot (Amharic: ዳሞት) was a medieval kingdom in what is now western Ethiopia.[1] The territory was positioned below the Blue Nile.[2] It was a powerful state that forced the Sultanate of Showa (also called Shewa) to pay tributes. It also annihilated the armies of the Zagwe dynasty that were sent to subdue its territory. Damot conquered several Muslim and Christian territories.[3] The Muslim state Showa and the new Christian state under Yekuno Amlak formed an alliance to counter the influence of Damot in the region.[4]

Kingdom of Damot
960–1317
The kingdom of Damot and its neighbours circa 1200 AD
The kingdom of Damot and its neighbours circa 1200 AD
CapitalMaldarede
9°23′N 37°34′E / 9.39°N 37.56°E / 9.39; 37.56
Common languagesGonga, and other Omotic languages
Religion
Paganism
GovernmentMonarchy
Motalami 
History 
• Established
960
• Disestablished
1317
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Aksum
Ethiopian Empire

History

The kings of Damot, who bore the title motälämi, resided in a town which, according to the hagiography of Tekle Haymanot, was called Maldarede.[5] Damot was conquered by Emperor Amda Seyon in 1316/7. His royal chronicle recounted that "all the people of Damot [came] into my hands; its king, its princes, its rulers, and its people, men and women without number, whom I exiled into another area."[6] Amda Seyon seemingly left the Damotian royal family in power, for the title motälämi continued to be used until the 15th century.[7]

Originally located south of the Abay and west of the Muger River,[8] under the pressure of Oromo attacks the rulers were forced to resettle north of the Abay in southern Gojjam between 1574 and 1606.[9]

Their territory extended east beyond the Muger as far as the Jamma.[8] The province of Damot remained part of the Ethiopian Empire well after the Zemene Mesafint began, unlike other southern regions. The ruler of Damot was typically from Gojjam and held the title Ras.

Religion

The population of Damot adherred to its own religion dominated by a deity called Däsk. This continued on even well after being conquered by the Christian Empire, which repeatedly led to conflict between the locals and the Christian garrison troops.[10] Parts of the population seemingly remained pagan until the late 16th century.[11]

It is claimed in the Hagiography of Tekle Haymanot that the latter managed to convert the ruler of Damot to Christianity.[12]

References

  1. ^ Shinn, David (2013). Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. Scarecrow Press. p. 111. ISBN 9780810874572.
  2. ^ Shillington, Kevin (4 July 2013). Encyclopedia of African History 3-Volume Set. Routledge. ISBN 9781135456696.
  3. ^ Bounga, Ayda (2014). The kingdom of Damot: An Inquiry into Political and Economic Power in the Horn of Africa (13th c.). Annales D'ethiopie. p. 262.
  4. ^ Hassen, Mohammed. Oromo of Ethiopia (PDF). University of London. p. 4.
  5. ^ Bouanga 2014, pp. 33–37.
  6. ^ Ayenachew, Deresse (2020). "Territorial Expansion and Administrative Evolution under the "Solomonic" Dynasty". In Samantha Kelly (ed.). A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea. Brill. p. 65.
  7. ^ Ayenachew, Deresse (2020). "Territorial Expansion and Administrative Evolution under the "Solomonic" Dynasty". In Samantha Kelly (ed.). A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea. Brill. p. 71.
  8. ^ a b G.W.B. Huntingford, Historical Geography of Ethiopia from the first century AD to 1704 (London: British Academy, 1989), p. 69
  9. ^ The dates for this movement are discussed by Huntingford in his Historical Geography, at pp. 143f
  10. ^ Ayenachew, Deresse (2020). "Territorial Expansion and Administrative Evolution under the "Solomonic" Dynasty". In Samantha Kelly (ed.). A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea. Brill. p. 80.
  11. ^ Fauvelle, François-Xavier (2020). "Of Conversion and Conversation: Followers of Local Religions in Medieval Ethiopia". In Samantha Kelly (ed.). A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea. Brill. p. 140.
  12. ^ Lusini, Gianfrancesco (2020). "The Ancient and Medieval History of Eritrean and Ethiopian Monasticism: An Outline". In Samantha Kelly (ed.). A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea. Brill. p. 207.

Further reading


 

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