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Much if its territory in Eritrea was conquered by the Bejas, who were expanding southward from Sudan.
A year later, Italy moved Eritrea’s capital to Asmara.On January 1st 1890, the Italian king proclaimed the colony of Eritrea, with the port of Massawa as its capital.Italy’s attempts to drive south into Abyssinia were repelled by the Shoan King Menelik II at the 1896 Battle of Adua.So far, fifty-one prehistoric sites have been identified across Eritrea, from Karora in the north to Beylul in the southeast, but many more are expected to be discovered in the coming years.The earliest inhabitants of Eritrea were probably related to the central Africa pygmies.Five distinct but interrelated Beja kingdoms at their height stretched from southern Egypt to north central Eritrea.
An offshoot, known as the Bellou kingdom, flourished from the 13th to the 16th century in parts of western Eritrea and eastern Sudan.
Among them were extensive settlements circumscribing modern-day Asmara and large sites at Qohaito, Tekhonda’e and Keskse (near Adi keih), at Metera (near senafe) and at Der’a (near Halhal), with more discovered each year.
Greek and Egyptian hunting and trading posts were established on coastal and highland Eritrea in the 3rd century BC and later.
Abyssinian kings from neighbouring Tigray brought sections of the Eritrean highlands under their rule during the last half of the 19th century, but their dominion ended with the entry of the Italians in the 1880s.
The Ottoman Turks (15th-19th centuries) arrived in the Eritrean coast at the start of the 16th century, carving out an enclave from the realm of the Bahre Negash.
At its height in the 3rd and 4th centuries, Axum’s domains stretched across the Red Sea to include much of modern Yemen.