Enda Sem’on and Enda Mikael
Ta’aka Mariam may be one of Aksum’s great underground structures, but it’s not the only one. Other buildings as grand and beautiful as Enda Sem’on and Enda Mikael. From the inscriptions of kings Ezana and Kaleb unearthed from Enda Sem’on, archeologists argue that in the 4th–6th century AD the area could have been in active use. Because inscriptions were intended to be communicated to a large public audience as propaganda instruments, they also argue that discovering inscriptions in the neighborhood may suggest that the area should have included a public site – perhaps a market site.
This is the largest of the elite dwellings to be excavated, with a 35 m square pavilion consisting of two 19x 10 m halls, each requiring 28 columns to support the above structure. Like Ta’akha Maryam and Enda Mikael, when the Axumite Empire was at its height, these structures were dated to the late 4th and early 5th centuries. Evidence from contemporary tombs would suggest that these buildings were carefully decorated and furnished with local and international manufacturing’s richest luxury goods. This period’s decorated stelae give an indication of the refinement of architectural detail, particularly the detailing of the characteristic window and door.