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17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
A Guardian of the High Places in Tigray

Many of the rock-hewn churches in Tigray are active and have a priest that lives in the church and is in charge of overseeing the operations and maintenance of buildings that can be hundreds of years old. This caretaker greets visitors to one of the rock-hewn churches that dot the mountainsides of the Tigray region, and may require a bit of rock climbing to visit. Behind him are the graves of church’s previous caretakers, who lived and were buried on the church grounds.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2019
Photo Location: Hawzen, Ethiopia
Camera: ILCE-7M2
Copyright: © John Dwyer