University expert leads Ethiopian dig

March 25, 2008

“Strangely enough, up until now, no one has actually done much archaeology in Lalibela,” he explained. “Research has just been centred on the churches.”

Dr Finneran will be heading up a team of archaeologists from the UK, working with French and Ethiopian scholars whose goal will be to study the landscape context of the churches over the next three years. The team will be working closely with local communities as well as the Authority for Research and Conservation for Cultural Heritage to promote a broader understanding of the site.

“Ethiopia’s diverse landscape hosts an enormous wealth of economic, ecological and cultural treasures,” said Dr Finneran who has carried out extensive research within the country over the past 15 years. He is also a member of the publications committee at the French Institute for Ethiopian Studies (CFEE).

“There is much negativity in the press about famine and poverty in Ethiopia – it’s hoped this collaborative project will help enhance opportunities for sustainable tourism in the area.”

Source: Hampshire Chronicle