Gobodura Hill

Hill in Aksum

A site known as Wuchate Golo is one of Aksum's four ancient quarries, the birthplace of the famous stelae. Several stelae (all unmarked) were almost completely freed from the rock, but then abandoned. Just as interesting is the Lioness of Gobodura (የጎቦዱራዋ እንስት አንበሳ). It was here that the Archangel Mikael fought a tremendous battle with a fierce lioness. The fight ended when the saint hurled the beast into a massive boulder with such force that its outline is still visible.

Mystery still surrounds the exact tools that were used by the master craftsmen of Aksum, but in the quarry you can see clearly the process by which they cut the hard stone from the rock. After the intended break was mapped out, a row of rectangular sockets was cut. Then, perhaps, dry wooden wedges were inserted into the sockets and made to expand by the use of water.

The parking area is signed 3km west of Aksum, off the Shire road. It’s quite a rough walk from the road over boulders and through scrub, and you’ll need a guide to help you find anything. It’s typically a one-hour circular trip, but it’s a beautiful spot for walking and some choose to wander here for hours.


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