Talk:Axum

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Redirect to Axum?[edit]

Within modern day Ethiopia, the spelling of Axum is more common than (the slightly more archaic) "Aksum" and this is also preferred by the currently most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to Ethiopia in the English language, the Sixth edition of the Bradt guide to Ethiopia.

I shall, therefore make the appropriate re-naming over a re-direct unless cogent reasons are provided to the contrary... (Alice not wanting to risk signing in from an Internet cafe) 213.55.108.36 14:32, 14 June 2013 (UTC) -- Alice 09:37, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Alice. This article should be renamed to Axum. --Saqib (talk) 14:47, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Mmmmm, I've spent the morning talking to some officials from the Tigray Ministry of Education and also some cultural officals and it seems this is more nuanced than I first thought. I will need to do some further research... -- Alice 16:02, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Because the local script captures whole syllables rather than symbolizing an individual phoneme(s), transcription into Roman script is variable to say the least. Certainly a lot of official publications (especially those dating from the dergue regime or before) use Aksum.
However most road signs now read Axum, as do most signs around the town itself and on the banks and courthouse. However what clinches it for me is the three letter code AXA for the airport and the fact Axum University is consistent in using Axum -- Alice 14:49, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
It gave me pause when I saw UNESCO use Aksum [1], but maybe that dates from 1980 when it became a World Heritage Site. The govt tourism agency uses Axum [2]. Nurg (talk) 00:48, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
So do we have a consensus to make the change or should we stick with the status quo?--213.55.108.58 04:30, 19 June 2013 (UTC) -- Alice 09:36, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
I have just checked 10 tour operators and they all spell it Axum, so I support. Nurg (talk) 06:26, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Even a highly unofficial count of Google results favors the Axum spelling 4:3, and it does seem to be the most commonly used form in newer media. -- D. Guillaume (talk) 06:29, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Weight of the great fallen stele?[edit]

Earlier I "corrected" the weight of this from 500 tonnes to "about 150 tonnes" (since this is the figure given in all the guides I have read) but upon talking to an American archaeologist in one of Axum's cafe's today, he thinks the huge larger (monstrous) figure may actually be nearer the mark. There was a lively discussion about specific gravities and cubic volume and we have all gone away to seek further sources. Sugestions? -- Alice 09:44, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Phillipson, D. W. "The Significance and Symbolism of Aksumite Stelae." Cambridge Archaeological Journal, IV 2 (1994): 189-210. He is a little inconsistent. He first says "The largest of them – Stela 1, now fallen and broken – would have been 29.8 m high and some 517 tonnes in weight." Later he says "this stela was a huge piece of granite, over 32 m long and about 520 tonnes in weight."
Phillipson, David. "Aksum." Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 38.1 (2003): 1-68. "Stela 1 was by far the largest of all: almost one-and-a-half times the height of Stela 2 [the one brought back from Italy] and three times its mass. As noted above, at 520 tonnes it is probably the largest single block of stone which people anywhere, at any time, have attempted to stand on end. The word ‘attempted’ is used here advisedly because there is good archaeological evidence that Stela 1 was never successfully erected but that it fell and broke during the attempt." Nurg (talk) 10:50, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Whatever the real weight, it certainly was a stupendous sight to behold looking at it yesterday - it's difficult to estimate it's volume because of it's tapering shape but I certainly think I should now go back nd corect my "correction".
The really mind boggling question is how the heck they moved it 4 km and 200 metres uphill from where it was quarried. Even today, I doubt there is any equipment in the whole of East Africa capable of such a move! -- Alice 11:26, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Alice, where is the Obelisk that came back from Italy? Is it on the other side of King Ezana's Stele from the Great Stele? Nurg (talk) 11:42, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
No, The great fallen obelisk lies immediately to the east of (or the left as you look at the stelae field from the entrance road) of the returned "Italian" obelisk and then at the west (or right, the three are pretty much in a row spaced equidistantly) is Ezana's stele currently supported by a weird modern strap arrangement since they're worried about its lean (the photo I chose, pre-dates this), Nurg. It's very difficult to spot the three joins where the Italians cut it up... -- Alice 12:36, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Alternative banner for this article?[edit]

Banner currently used in this article
Suggested new alternative banner

I created a new alternative banner for this article (I initially created it first and foremost so that it would be used at the top of the parallel article in the Hebrew edition of Wikivoyage, yet I later decided to also suggest that the English Wikivoyage community would consider using it here as well). So, which banner do you prefer having at the top of this article? ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 08:28, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

I think I'd rather stay with the current banner, because it has a more coherent composition. Too little of the stela is in the alternative banner for it to produce a really good effect, in my opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:54, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
The first banner is not great but I prefer it over the second for the same reasons given above. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:57, 13 September 2018 (UTC)