About a mile (1.5 km) south of Sanafi, the main road went up to the right. We turned down to the left onto a dirt road that crossed a flat plain toward a volcanic plug, a distant mountain peak. We were heading for a bunch of mounds at the base of that mountain, the ruins of an Axumite town today called Matara after the mountain we had just passed.
Long tradition also calls the ruins Enda Zala Kaleb Negus, the Ruins of King Kaleb. Legend says that King Kaleb destroyed the town in the sixth century when he found out the town's people were harassing the monks on the near-by mountain. The story is that Kaleb surprised the people by sneaking through a tunnel he had dug from Axum--75 miles (120 km) away. ...
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