We're in Axum, the land of the queen of Sheba and the emperor Menelick, her son with Solomon, who brought the ark of the alliance from Jerusalem and founded an empire around the Graal. It is Zion for the Rastafarians who flee from around the world including Babylonian Jamaica to come and celebrate Hailie Selassie, the last emperor of the Solomonic dynasty. To me, this is a paradise for anarcheology. Makes me remember Zouzi Chebbi, in Paris 8 last March commenting that the different between fact and version is blurred when once crosses southbound the Maghreb.
The Beta Israel are the descendents of the big court of Menelick (the first) who followed him from Jerusalem, maybe together with the lost tribes and some converted along the way. As for the Christians, maybe they are early converts, maybe the descendents of the hosts of Jesus, maybe the ones who went preach up north in the upper shores of the Red Sea. Ethiopia is often cleaned away from the official versions of those religious and racial stories. Much has to be invented when you see the Falasha and the Falash Mura traditions or when you smell the missing link between Kabbalah, Rasta and the black diaspora. Ethiopians could have been the monotheist influence on the Canaanites that gave rise to them breaking up with their Mesopotamian tradition. Put back one element to the official version of things, and the disruption is uncontrolled. There is no monotonic accommodation, no progressive assimilation to what passes as universal or all-inclusive account of history. It is the politics of anarcheology: the power of the fictions in friction.
Surely, there is an account of things that is Ethiopia-centered. The Menelick dynasty went on all the way through Iodit (the Jewish queen who persecuted the Christians), Menelick the second in the 19th century and Hailie Selassie is the kernel of it all. But it, again, has its own wholes and gaps and pieces of the puzzle swept under the carpet. I thought of an anarcheological definition of universal history inspired on what Levinas once said about the Yosl Rakover manuscript that was claimed by Zvi Kolitz to be his own fictional piece. Levinas said: the manuscript is too truthful not to be a piece of fiction. This is what history could be like: no more than narratives that are too truthful not to be pieces of fiction.
More on anarcheology in the book "Heraclitus, an exercise in anarcheology" by Leonel, Luciana and me coming up at some point this year (according to the publisher).
NB: This was premiered few days back in Facebook because blogger wasn't agreeing with Ethiopia.