A Survey of Rock Hewn Churches in Mäqet Warada, Northern Wallo

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


The rock hewn churches of Mäqét roughly cover the time between the 4th and 14th centuries A.D based on traditional sources. This dating is not reliable without tangible archeological sources and future researches are expected to provide archaeological sources to discuss the detail of their chronology. The churches are cave and monolithic hewn rocks in type. No built up churches are found in the Wäräda. The tradition of the Wäräda is cave oriented which might be influenced by the nature and setting of the rocks in which the churches are hewed. These churches are hidden behind the escarpments, mountains or hills of Mäqét. They are built in the inaccessible areas of Mäqét that isolated the churches from heritage managers and researchers. They have common and unique architectural features and cultural heritages. The churches are recognized by their unique architectures, locally produced hand craft materials, and by other essential movable treasures in many of the churches. The architectures of the churches resemble dominantly indigenous technologies. The tradition of the Wäräda is claimed to be the base for the later rock hewn church development of the country, by recognizing the churches as parts of the early Aksumite Christian traditions. Suspiciously, there are some features such as basilica styles and domes which might be adapted from the early Byzantine Christian traditions probably introduced by Abunä Musé. The churches have intangible heritages which are significant by their spiritual, socio-cultural and economic manifestations of the people which need future detail studies. Despite this, the heritage management and tourism activities of the churches are challenged by both natural and anthropogenic related problems. This research indicated the need of further detail studies concerning the management and conservation of these churches



Rock Hewn Churches,Archaeological Sources