The Stele site of Tiya in Gurage Zone is registered in the UNESCO world heritage list as world heritage sites in 1980. Tiya is distinguished by 36 standing stones or stelae.They are marking a large, prehistoric burial complex of an ancient Ethiopian culture.
The site contains more than 40 ancient stelae. The largest of which stands up to 3.9m high. They form only one cluster and are intriguing and mysterious. Almost nothing is known about the monoliths carves or their purpose. Most of the stones are engraved with enigmatic symbols, notably swords. French excavations have revealed that the stelae mark mass graves of individuals aged between 18-30 years.