10 things over 1,000 years old that you can see for yourself

These historic artifacts make it possible to come face-to-face with ancient times.

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Obelisks of Axum

The city of Axum (sometimes spelled Aksum) was once the capital of an ancient civilization. The Kingdom of Axum was a major trading power in what is now the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Giant obelisks, granite towers with intricate carvings on their sides, stand throughout the city. The tallest of these stretches 79 feet into the air.

The towers were thought to have been made to mark the site of underground burial chambers. There are hundreds of smaller obelisks in fields around the city. The tallest tower in Axum was taken to Italy after Mussolini's fascist forces conquered East Africa in the 1930s. Repatriation was promised by the U.N. after World War II, but it took until the early 2000s before the tower was finally dismantled in Italy and shipped back to Axum, where it now stands.

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