Despite its discovery in 1843, the mystery around the Geta Lion is yet to be solved. Questions surrounding this mysterious lion seem to increase day by day. Who carved the lion? Did man carve it or has it existed since the beginning of time? We probably may never get to the bottom of it all, but at least tourists can enjoy a stand at the top of the Geta Lion in Ethiopia.
So what is the Geta Lion? At least we have the answer to that.
The Geta Lion is a stone sculpture of a lion’s heads suspending on the top of the Tchika Beret Hill in Ethiopia. The statue depicts the head of a male lion bearing its teeth. It was first discovered by Théophile Lefebvre, a French Lieutenant and scientific Explorer. Theophile lived in Ethiopia between 1814 and 1843 as an explorer and chanced upon the sculpture during one of his many expeditions in 1843.
He described the Geta Lion as the representation of a hippopotamus or a Sphinx, but the proper description of the statue as a lion was given by travellers a few years later.
A group of archaeologists argue that the sculpture is a representation of a symbolic animal or sphinx common in Egypt that shares a resemblance with a lion. Another group of archaeologists believe that it is a representation of a lion, an animal that holds significance in the traditional history of Ethiopia and other parts of East Africa.
Three monograms, including a cross, have been carved between the paws of the lions. For many scholars, the appearance of the cross signifies that the lion could have been sculpted during the early days of the first Christian in Egypt in the 4th century. But the possibility of the sculpture existing years before then is very high.
For some reason, there has been the speculation that the sculpture was done in the 9th century but this is a theory that does not hold much grounds because of the appearance of crosses which date back to the 4th century.
Perhaps what makes the Geta Lion interesting is not just its existence but the whole mystery and unanswered questions that revolve around it. It is the only one of its kind in the whole of Ethiopia which makes it hard to trace.
Tourists can visit the Geta Lion site any time they choose and have a go at standing directly on the head of the lion whose existence remains the world’s greatest puzzle.