The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Aksum in a Bottle?

Author - Crispin Paine


Da 'Ure volcanic vent
A drinks bottle with an aksumite style stele.
Photo - © Crispin Paine

Aksumite stelae pop up in the most unlikely places. This is a bottle sold by the Portsdown and South Hants Mineral Water Company early in the twentieth century, and on it appears what seems to be one of the stelae at Aksum. In fact it is the monument to Admiral Nelson that stands on Portsdown Hill, looking down over Portsmouth. This monument was promoted, and the money for it largely raised, by Captain Freemantle of HMS Neptune, who in 1806 brought Henry Salt part-way home to Britain after his visit to Aksum. Details are in:
Smith, Jane. 2007. The Nelson Monument Portsdown Hill: A Seamark Re-Discovered. Portsmouth: The Nelson Society. ISBN: 9780953720064.

First Published in News File Spring 2012

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