the first powerful kingdom of ethiopia, from about 400 bc.to about 500 dc., developed in the northern area, centered in aksum.
the main reason that aksum is still a famous city are the stelae, which were erected around 300 dc.and are are world heritage sites.
the largest still standing one is 25 m high and weighs 160 tons. the tallest ever, broken into pieces already during installment, was 33-m high, weighing 520 tonnes. another very large one is protectect by engineering efforts.
north-east of aksum is yeha located - the assumed capital of the kingdom "d'm't" (980-400 bc), and the location of the yeha temple, erected around 700 bc., designed in ancient south arabian style. writings of different historic periods were found. at much later time it became a church, and then even had a babtistery. cemeteries are nearby. meanwhile the restauration of this oldest african building is underway.
further impressive orthodox churches can be seen in the cities of adigrat and mekele, both located south of aksum.