Tiya is among the most important of the roughly 160 archaeological sites discovered so far in the Soddo area, south of Addis Ababa.
The pre historic site of Tiya in Southern Ethiopia houses 36 obelisks, including 32 carved stelae covered with symbols, believed to be ancient tomb stones. According to UNESCO, these are the remains of ancient Ethiopian cultures whose age has not yet been precisely determined. The erection of megalithic monuments such as those is a very ancient tradition in Ethiopia. These obelisks are not soaring monoliths as in Axum, but they contain depictions of swards and various symbols not found in other regions.
The carved monoliths vary in size from 1 m to 5 m. Their forms fall into several distinct categories: figurative composition, anthropomorphic, hemispherical or conical, simple monoliths. In the northern area are to be found stelae with depictions of swords, associated with enigmatic symbols and schematic human figures.