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27 Oct

The modern name Eritrea was first employed by Italian colonialists in the late nineteenth century.

It is the Italian form of the Greek name ErythraƮa, which derives from the Greek term for the Red Sea.

During the Scramble for Africa, Italy began vying for a possession along the strategic coast of what was to become the world's busiest shipping lane.

The government bought the Rubattino company's holdings and expanded its possessions northward along the Red Sea coast toward and beyond Massawa, encroaching on and quickly expelling previously "Egyptian" possessions.

Eritrea is located in East Africa, more specifically the Horn of Africa, and is bordered on the northeast and east by the Red Sea. state of Pennsylvania, though half of that includes the territorial waters that surround the Dahlak Archipelago, a cluster of 209 islands in the Red Sea.

It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The country is virtually bisected by one of the world's longest mountain ranges, the Great Rift Valley, with fertile lands in the central highlands, a savanna to the west, and the descent to the barren coastal plain in the east.

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Eastern areas under the control of the Afar since ancient times came to form part of the sultanate of Adal and, when that disintegrated, the coastal areas there became Ottoman vassals.Cave paintings in central and northern Eritrea attest to the early settlement of hunter-gatherers in this region. E., a kingdom known as D'mt was established in what is today northern Ethiopia and Eritrea, with its capital at Yeha in northern Ethiopia and which had extensive relations with the Sabeans in present-day Yemen across the Red Sea. In the seventh century , with the advent of Islam in Arabia, Aksum's trade and power began to decline and the center moved farther inland to the highlands of what is today Ethiopia.Ancient Egyptian sources also cite cities and trading posts along the southwestern Red Sea coast, roughly corresponding to modern-day Eritrea, calling this the land of Punt famed for its incense. of a settlement that traded both with the Sabaeans across the Red Sea and with the civilizations of the Nile Valley farther west along caravan routes. During the medieval period, contemporary with and following the disintegration of the Axumite state, several states as well as tribal and clan lands emerged in the area known today as Eritrea.In these areas, feudal authority was particularly weak or nonexistent and the autonomy of the landowning peasantry was particularly strong; a kind of republic was exemplified by a set of customary laws legislated by elected councils of elders.An Ottoman invading force under Suleiman I conquered Massawa in 1557, building what is now considered the 'old town' of Massawa on Batsi island.In 1999 scientists discovered some of the first examples of humans using tools to harvest marine resources at a site along the Red Sea coast. E., minting its own coins by the third century, converting in the fourth century to Christianity, as the second official Christian state (after Armenia) and the first country to feature the cross on its coins.The site contained obsidian tools dated to over 125,000 years old, from the Paleolithic era. E., the state of Aksum arose in the northern Ethiopian Highlands. It grew to be one of the four greatest civilizations in the world, on a par with China, Persia, and Rome.Yeshaq was able to retake much of what the Ottomans captured with Ethiopian assistance, but he later twice revolted against the emperor of Ethiopia with Ottoman support.By 1578, all revolts had ended, leaving the Ottomans in control of the important ports of Massawa and Hergigo and their environs, and leaving the province of Habesh to Beja Na'ibs (deputies).Off the sandy and arid coastline is situated the Dahlak Archipelago, a group of more than 100 small coral and reef-fringed islands, only a few of which have a permanent population.The highlands are drier and cooler, and half of Eritrea's population lives here.