The Axumite kingdom was established by the descendents of the Sabean immigrants who began to appear on the Ethiopia Red Sea Coast around 1000 BC. The people belonged to two groups: the Habashat (mixture of from which the word Abyssinia Came) and the Agazians. But these names are rarely mentioned in old inscriptions. Their contribution includes architecture in which they used stones for building houses & stelae. The Sabeans had also introduced religion and they worshipped the sun, moon and stars. Language is another important contribution of the Sabeans to Ethiopia. Sabean was used in Ethiopia until approximately to the 6th century AD. The Semitic languages and Geez, the oldest literary language and which is now refuge to the Church, were derived from Sabean.
Ancient Ethiopia had relations not only with South Arabia and Egypt but also with ancient Israel in more emphasized form. The relation between these ancient people had even gone to the extent of formulating a legend. This legend is known as "Queen of Sheba and King Solomon". The legend begins with the romantic story of Solomon and Sheba. There are many visions of the legend one being that about 950 B.C. the Queen of Sheba (also called Makeda) ruled over northern Ethiopia from her capital at Axum, where she lived in a castle and worshipped the sun.
The Queen had heard of the wisdom of King Solomon and decided to test herself how wise he might be. So she set off to Jerusalem taking gifts of gold, spices and Jewels. Here visit is referred to in the Bible (1 kings 10:1-13) and (2 chronicles 29:1-12) in which King Solomon was said to give Sheba “all her desires, what so ever she asked”. On the return Journey, a son Eben Hakim, (son of the wise – King Solomon of Israel) Menelik was born from the Queen Makeda. When he grew up she sent him to Solomon and up on return he brought with him The Holy Ark of the Covenant, which is believed still to be kept in the church of St. Mary of Zion at Axum. It is from Menelik I that the so-called Solomonic lines of kings have driven their origin.
Axum was the center of Ethiopia's ancient civilization and by the first century A.D the Axumite used to import and export goods from Egypt, Rome, Nubia, Greece, Syria and India. Axum is also one of the most important archeological sites of Ethiopia and it is known for its ruins of the palace of the Queen of Sheba, monolithic steles, king’s tombs, etc.