History of Eritrea

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Eritrea is an ancient name, associated in the past with its Greek form Erythraía (Greek alphabet Ερυθραία), and its derived Latin form Erythræa. In the past, Eritrea had given its name to the Red Sea, then called the Erythræan Sea. The Italians created the colony of Eritrea in the 19th century around Asmara, and named it with its current name. After World War II Eritrea was annexed to Ethiopia. In 1991 the Eritrean People's Liberation Front defeated the Ethiopian government. Eritrea officially celebrated its 1st anniversary of independence on May 24, 1992.

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Prehistory

In 1995, one of the oldest hominids, representing a possible link between Homo erectus and an archaic Homo sapiens was found in Buya, Eritrea by Italian scientists dated to over 1 million years old (the oldest of its kind), providing a link between hominids and the earliest humans.[1] It is also believed that Eritrea was on the route out of Africa that was used by early man to colonize the rest of the Old World.[2]

Furthermore, the Eritrean Research Project Team composed of Eritrean, Canadian, American, Dutch and French scientists, discovered in 1999 a site with stone and obsidian tools dated to over 125 000 years old (from the paleolithic) era near the Bay of Zula south of Massawa along the Red Sea coast. The tools are believed to have been used by early humans to harvest marine resources like clams and oysters.[3] Furthermore it is believed that the Eritrean section of the Denakil Depression was a major player in terms of human evolution and may "document the entire evolution of Homo erectus up to the transition to anatomically modern humans."[4]

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