Melka Kunture and Balchit

Photo by Michael Novins.

Melka Kunture and Balchit is part of the Tentative list of Ethiopia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Melka Kunture is an ancient volcanic landscape in the Awash Valley used by humans since prehistory. Tens of thousands of lithic tools, faunal and sometime human fossilized remains have been discovered. The tools were mainly made of obsidian, of which the primary source is at Balchit.

Map of Melka Kunture and Balchit

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Philippines - 14-Jan-23 -

Melka Kunture and Balchit  (T) by Boj

Visited Melka Kunture archaeological site in January 2023 - a quick day trip from Addis Ababa.

The site has an interesting museum exhibiting Ethiopia's rich archaeological heritage. Melka Kunture boasts for recording 1.7 million years of continuous prehistoric human occupation, apart from its rich lithic, flora and fauna fossil records (Photo is from the dig site with in-situ artefacts).

Travelers can arrange a visit to Melka Kunture with a trip to Tiya (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Adadi Mariam Rock Church, the only known rock-hewn church outside of Lalibela. 

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Full Name
Melka Kunture and Balchit
Nominated for
Archaeological site - Prehistoric Natural landscape - Volcanic and thermal
2022 Incomplete - not examined

2020 Revision

Renomination of "Melka Kunture and Balchit Archaeological Site" (2012)

2020 Added to Tentative List

2012 Revision

Bachilt Archaeological Site added to the nomination

1981 Deferred

At Bureau - Need Tentative List

1980 Deferred

1979 Deferred

Bureau meeting - info requested in 78 still not in place

1978 Deferred

Bureau meeting - info requested

The site has 1 locations

Melka Kunture and Balchit (T)
WHS 1997-2024