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Dr Eng. Birhanu Bulcha – NASA

There are very few remains of Christian Aksumite art, but from the 13th to the 20th centuries, there was an uninterrupted production of religious paintings and church buildings. Islam spread to this part of Africa from its beginnings, and Muslim sultanates developed from this time in the eastern region and then most specifically around Harar, from the 16th century onward. At the end of the 19th century, Menelik, King of King of Ethiopia, expanded the southern part of his country, doubling its size. Limited bibliographical information is presented here for artistic productions in this part of this modern nation. In fact, the geographic areas covered by this bibliography vary according to the period. For prehistoric art, we give examples in the whole Horn of Africa, which is the scale at which the specialists of this region are working. To follow the historical evolution of the Ethiopian political space, production within what is now Eritrea is sometimes included, particularly for Aksumite and medieval times, but this bibliography cannot be considered comprehensive for more recent arts in Eritrea. Christian art forms have been studied more than other material, but in this bibliography they will be proportionately less represented in order to provide sources for various other fields that have received less scholarly attention. Therefore, this bibliography reflects neither the number of surviving artworks nor the number of the studies done. Furthermore, there is no general overview of all the topics addressed in this bibliography, but such overviews are sometimes existing for subtopics. It must be noted that while Ethiopian names are composed of a personal name followed by the name of a person’s father, in publications and library catalogs the personal name is sometimes taken on as a surname, while sometimes the father’s name is used in this way. Systems of transcription also vary, so diverse spellings will appear in this bibliography.

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