August 21, 2020

Ministry of Tourism: The ancient port of Adulis

By  Yishak Yaried | Adulis which is historically known, as one of the metropolitan city of the Axumite empire is an archeological site in the Northern Red Sea region, about 40 kilometers south of Massawa. According to Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Adulis was the port of the Kingdom of Aksum, located on the coast of the Red Sea. Adulis Bay is named after the port. It is thought that the modern town of Zula may be the Adulis of Aksumite times, as Zula may reflect the native name for the Greek “Adulis.”The origin of the name, Adulis, is not well known.

However, Pliny, a historian who is believed to be among the first historians to write about Adulis, who misunderstood the place, and thought its name to mean founded by escaped Egyptian slaves. On the other hand, according to the inhabitants of the area, the Sahao ethnic group, Adolos means white water, a name given to the “white colored” water of the sea shore of the coast resulting from the splash of the wave or water current. (NME, 2008) Some historians also argue that Adulis existed long before the rise of the Axumite Kingdom. It was known during the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt as part of the land of Punt.

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