Ethiopia, also known as Abyssinia, the Arabic designation, was the cross-over point for the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East. Situated on the Horn of Africa and known to the Egyptians as the Land of the Gods, as one of the earliest inhabited regions of the world, Ethiopia is ofted called "The Cradle of Civilization" by modern scholars. It is the oldest official Christian nation.
Ethiopic, the elegant script derived from the South Arabian written form, was based on cultural transmissions across the Red Sea. Ethiopic script evolved into Ge'ez, the only official written language used until the end of the 19th century CE, and the liturgical language of the present-day Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Artifacts: Ethiopic Miniature Portraits of Biblical Scenes, from an Ethiopian manuscript, on vellum, with text in red and black on reverse side, early 19th century CE.
Group 1: Six painted miniatures on 6 sheets; images depict figures wearing robes, pointing two fingers in various directions [calling attention to specific details].
Group 2: Five painted miniatures on 4 sheets.