This period begins with the ancient hominoids of Australopithecus and extends to the early inhabitants of the pre-Aksumites. They were preceded by Punt. This period also saw the arrival of Ge'ez and Judaism.
At the turn of the first millennia, the dominant kingdom was in Aksum. This was a very advanced civilization. They were the first Africans to mint coins. They were powerful enough to take military expeditions into South Arabia. Aksum began to decline in the seventh century. The Zagwe Dynasty was next to rule Ethiopia. The most prized of the Zagwe kings was Lalibela. This period saw the arrival of Christianity and the Nine Saints
The Zagwe's were considered usurpers because they did not lay claim to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. When Yekuno Amlak came to power, the Solomonic Dynasty was reinstated. In the 14th century, the conquests of Amda Seyon increased the size of Ethiopia. During the sixteenth century, the expeditions of Ahmad Gragn ravaged Ethiopia. Gondar became the center of power in the seventeenth century. The Zamana Masafent era was marked with continuous warfare. A notable figure of this period is the monastic evangelist Ewostatewos
The reunification of Ethiopia began with the rule of Emperor Tewodros. His unsuccessful campaign was continued by Yohannes IV and then Menelik II. Menelik II defeated the Italians in a decisive battle in Adwa. The next major ruler was Haile Selassie I. He ruled Ethiopia until the 1970s before he was replaced by Derg.