History: The genesis of archaeology and heritage management, in Ethiopia, at BA level starts at Aksum University when a four years program in archaeology was opened in 2007. Since 2012, the department is functioning as Archaeology and Heritage Management; today is a three years harmonized-program. Moreover, MA program in Archaeology and Heritage Management, opened in 2012, is currently active in training competent professionals in the same field.
Meaning: Archaeology is a field of study that helps to reconstruct human ways of life through the material remains left by humans. It is both science and humanity. It is the study of past societies primarily through material remains, buildings, tools, and other artifacts that constitute what is known as the material culture left over from former societies. Archaeology also has an active role to play in the field of heritage conservation. Archaeology can also contribute a great deal to the understanding even of those periods and places where documents, inscriptions, and other literary evidences do exist.
Rationale: Although Ethiopia embraces prehistoric and historic sites of archaeological importance, there has so far been an unrelieved problem in the area of archaeological studies particularly in the field of archaeology and in the preservation and protection of cultural heritages. This is mainly due to a serious shortage of trained professionals in the field. Hence, the rationale behind inaugurating such programs in Axum is the presence of diverse cultural heritages in the nation in general and bountiful archaeological resources in Axum and its vicinity in particular. Axum and its vicinity, a home of ancient states and civilizations, is the stunning and ideal location for archaeology and heritage management training institutions.
The programs have been in ceaseless efforts of training competent professionals in archaeology, heritage management, tourism, documentation, conservation, research and promotion of the diverse cultural heritages we have as a nation.
The department aspires to deliver excellent services for its customers: students and other segments of the community. We, as an archaeology community, are seeking excelling paths relentlessly; initiating and heralding connectivity as a means of survival and excellence.
A graduate from these programs can work in varied sectors that need archaeological experts and integrated heritage management activities at various levels of responsibilities (as Expert, Officer). Thus, professionals of Archaeology and Heritage management will:
- Administer any archaeological excavation and heritage management related projects;
- Advise different governmental and nongovernmental organizations on matters related to archaeological excavation, research and heritage management and conservation issues;
- Contribute to the effort of the government to achieve the nation’s ambition of revealing its immense archaeological potential and boost economic revenue that comes associated with it;
- Organize programs and projects in the areas of Archaeology and heritage management;
- Conduct research works in Archaeology and heritage management at different levels;
- Cooperate and work with local, regional and international organizations on promoting the importance of the field, research and advisory works related to Archaeology and Heritage management;
- Promote cultural exhibitions and promotions at different levels;
- Participate in consultation activities in the field of archaeology and heritage management
- Train and teach in higher and other academic institutions;
- Engage in impact assessment projects and mitigation measures;
- Engage in training tour guides and tourism professionals in areas related to archaeology and heritage management;
- Work as policy advisors at national and regional levels.
Graduates in Archaeology and Heritage management will be able to:
- Design archaeological and laboratory research projects and undertake surveying, excavation and analysis as per requirements of the discipline;
- Record, describe and classify archival documents, museum and archaeological objects
- Participate in and organize cultural exhibitions and promotions at national and international levels;
- Work effectively as experts and conservators in the area of Cultural Heritage Management;
- Design, organize and carry out courses of instruction in archaeology and cultural heritage management at tertiary level in Ethiopia and elsewhere;
- Initiate and coordinate projects, organize archaeological teams, explore new sites, serve as professionals of heritage tour guides and use as supervisors, directors of archaeological excavations and other field related tasks in the field of study;
- Plan, research, manage, and consult in Archaeology, Heritage Management and Tourism Plan and advise travel agents and tour operators;
- Consult services in tourism, hotel and heritage conservation and archaeological research
- Organize, and offer courses for institutions in tourism and hotel operation, heritage management and archaeological research;
- Conduct impact assessment projects and mitigation measures, and
- Understand and develop tourism resources.
It is also expected that graduates will be either self-employed or employees of the followings institutions:
- Ministry of Culture and Tourism
- Transport Authority
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Rural and Agricultural Development
- Ministry of Mines and Energy
- Ministry of Works and Urban Development
- Culture and Tourism Bureaus
- Ethiopian Religious Institutions
- International organizations
- Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority
- Ethiopian Road Authority
- Environmental Authority
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Private organizations
- Hotel, tour and travel sector
BA admission requirements: Students who pass university entrance examination in Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and candidates with diploma in related fields from recognized higher learning institutions are eligible to join the department.
MA admission requirements: Archaeology is a multi discipline venture. Therefore, students who hold a Bachelor’s degree from government accredited academic institutions in Ethiopia and abroad with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and above can apply for admission into MA in archaeology and heritage management.
Students who had obtained a BA degree in history, archaeology, heritage management and conservation, anthropology, geology, linguistics, art and architecture, and tourism management with a GPA of 2.0 and above can apply for admission.