The SNNPRS has an enormous number of Megalithic stelae sites. According to different sources there are about 10,000 stelae in the Region. Among these the most magnificent ones are:
Chelba Tuttiti Megalithic Site
It is one of the largest stelae fields in Gedeo Zone at Yirga Chefe Woreda, Deko kebele 3.2km far from the main road. This site has a total number of 1530 stelae concentrated in an area of 21,600 sq. m with 225 m. length and 96m width. The height of these stelae varies from 5 m to 0.50 m. The circumference of the largest stelae measures 1.80m.The megalithic stelae of Chelba -Tutiti site are mostly phallic type (similar to male sex organ ) with little anthropomorphic type of stelae. Phallic type of stelae is older than the anthropomorphic ones which are typically cylindrical in shape and rounded at the top. Joussaume who did research on the site described that the stelae in Chelb-Tutiti site have marked graves and the bodies beneath them were buried in a fetal or vertical position unlike the bodies in Tuto- fela which was a site where people were buried lying flat instead of its foetal position. The stelae in Tutiti seem to be found in their original position. These selae are also stretched north to south in row in an arranged pattern. The majority of stelae in Chelba -Tutiti are lying on the ground.
The stelae at Chelba- Tutiti site are relatively huge compared to other megalithic sites of stelae in Gedeo zone.
Sede Megalithic Site
Sede is found in Yerga Chefe Woreda in Sede Kebele at a village called Kib. The megalithic site of Sede is bounded to the North from the town of Yirgachefe, South with Wotte (Kochere Woreda), and West with Haru and in the East with Udessa.
Sede is located 8 km from the main international road that connect Ethiopia with Nairobi. Geographically, it is located at 6° 07‘06.0‘‘north latitude and 038° 10‘59.8‘‘East longitude at an altitude of 2186 meter above sea level. It is a protected area which has thirty- five meter length and 30 meters width. The core of the site has an area of 2,950sq.m. This site is also found at the top of a small hill which is covered with bushes and coffee trees. No one knows when, for what purpose and who erected the stelae at Sede. The total number of stelae in Sede site is 486. The megalithic stelae of Sede are various in sizes with cylindrical, flat and quadrangular shape also rectangular. Some Sede stelae are decorated which are analogous with that of Tuto- Fela and Chalba- Tutiti stelae decorations. The heights of the long stele measures 2.60 in meter and the circumference is 1.28 meter.
Tutto- Fella Megalithic Site
Tutto -Fella Megalithic Site is located in Wonago Woreda at the locality called Jemjemo. This site is 2.7km far south east of the main road. It is located at 37°N 0415707 and 0695783 at an altitude of 2004 meter a s. l. Tutto- Fella megalithic site is bounded to the South with Mekonissa, East Sokcha, North Bene Bukissa and West Kara Soditti localities. Tutto -Fella is one of the most impressive megalithic sites of the Gedeo Zone. It has a total number of 199 stelae of both phallic and anthropomorphic types (mostly anthropomorphic). The Tutto -Fella site includes 53 curved stelae covered with different symbols. Most of these stelae were re-erected during the study of the site by the French archaeologist, Roger Joussaume between 1993 and 1997. The stelae in Tutto- Fella are smaller in size compared to other standing stones that are found in other megalithic sites of the Gedeo zone. The height of the largest stelae measures 2.20 m. with a circumference of 90cm. whereas of the smallest stelae is less than 50cm height. Most of the stelae are engraved with enigmatic symbols notably human face above their neck with large eyes. Little is known about the origin of these stelae or their purpose and no one knows also about the societies that erected them. These stelae are essentially grave stones and a number of excavations that carried on the stelae site revealed artefacts such as iron, copper braclet, human bones, pottery, beads, and tools which were buried alongside the occupants .The study of the stelae site of Tutto- Fella between 1993 and1997 has shown the presence of two successive cemeteries positioned one over the other. The upper layer consists of stone tumulus of 100sq.m. On this tumulus , several stelae are erected , though many of them are now broken.
These stelae are anthropomorphic which are associated with graves containing from one to three bodies, buried among the stones of the tumulus. Below at lower level are phallic stelae marking graves cut into the ground surface. Some of the Tutto -Fella stelae are either standing or inclining. Some of them are either lying on the ground or buried under the ground. Some of them were removed from their original position for different purposes, like for construction of temporary shelter. The presence of two types of stelae in Tutto- Fella site seems to suggest that they were cemetery of different individuals of varying ranks in society, like religious, political, and military status. This hypothesis was supported by the discovery of different artifacts and human bones under the stelae during an archaeological research by Rodger Joussaume.
Majority of megalithic stelae of the Tutto- Fella site are stretched north south in arranged pattern and in row. Some of the stelae have no orientation, but most of them face to the east. Roger Joussaume assumed that two different generations used the same site for burial in different periods in Tutto -Fella megalithic structure. The result of his research also indicated that most of the anthropomorphic stelae of the tumulus at Tutto- Fella had been made by remodeling phallic stelae taken from under lying layer.
Sakaro- Sodo Megalithic Site
Sakoro- Sodo site is located in Gedeb Woreda in Halo Hartume Kebele some 3.3 km to the north of the town of Gedeb and some 300 meters from the main international road at a village called Sakaro- Sodo. The geographical location of the site is 05056‘55.1‘‘North of latitude and 038015‘17.8‘‘East of longitude and at an elevation of 2367 meter above sea level. The site covers 6 hectare. This site has core area of 5222m with 58m length and 9m width. Sakaro -Sodo stelae contain an alignment of 37 stelae, 30 of which are standing, and 7 are lying on the ground. The height of standing stelae varies from 1.30 m to 3.5 m. The circumference of the largest stelae is 2.5m. All of the stelae in Sakaro -Sodo are found in their original position. Except little anthropomorphic type of stelae, the stelae in Sakaro- Sodo megalithic site are mostly of phallic style with different types of decorations. Someone can observe that the common enigmatic decorations include three vertically engraved snakes, concentric circular rings at the top of the stelae and also series of dots. Some stelae in Sakaro- Sodo have decorations of circular grooves and series of punctuations. One can easily observe the hammer stone and metal tools mark on the stelae. This shows that the stelae in Sakaro-Sodo have been worked and shaped using metal tools and hammer stones. The decorated engraving of snakes is common in the world as it is often linked to rebirth and fecundity indicated by the phallic aspect of life (Habtamu and Abebe, 2012:27-28). All of these stelae are found encircling a big indigenous Dokema tree. At one time a ritual practice called Ya'aa used to take place at Sakaro -Sodo site.
Odola Galma Rock Engravings Site
The Odola Galma Rock Engravings site is located in Dilla Zuria Woreda on the South Eastern part of Gedeo Zone. It is located on a river named Aanshi Malcho. This is a sacred river used for a ritual related to purification from pollution. Odola Galma is believed to be one of the ancient settlement areas which represent a transition from hunting and gathering to early agriculture pastoralist’s life. Because some archaeologists suggest that rock engravings of cattle pattern in bass relief in southern Ethiopia was intended to represent settled life or the movement of pastoralists. Odola Galma is made up of two parallel and horizontally engraved pieces of rocks. One of these rocks has a length of 8.5m and 2.5m width and located on the right bank of the Aanshi Malcho River. The other one is 3m long and 0.70cm wide located on the left banks of the River. The piece of rock engraved on the left bank of the river shows images of 8 bovid. These bovid engravings lined up in two rows. The upper row depicts 6 bovid engravings, whereas the lower line shows only of two bovid. In the upper row there are 5 figures of cows and one male bovid which are engraved behind all cows. In the lower row only two bovid figures are shown, one of which is a baby bovid (calf) with its mother. All the bovid on the left bank of the Aanshi Malicho River engraved head facing north. In the upper row the bovid on the front has a length of 30cm engraving .The second and the fourth bovid in the row have 27cm of equal length, whereas the third, the fifth and the sixth (male bovid) engravings length measure 35cm each. In the lower row the female bovid engraving measures 29cm and of the baby bovid is 10cm. All images of bovid along the left bank of the river engraved with short neck or absent. These engravings depict bovid with long thin tail without the indication of head and tassel. On the other hand, along the right bank of the Anshi Malicho River on 8.5m long piece of rock the engravings are made up of eleven representations of bovid turned to the right facing south. It is hard to tell the sex of these bovid engravings because of high river water erosion which resulted in much suffering on the engravings. Only five bovid are found engraved in two rows, three in the first row and two in the second row. The rest 6 engravings are not in row or in arranged pattern, but are found scattered. The length of these engravings vary from 12cm to 46cm.The engravings depict 6 male and 5 female bovid. For female bovid the udder seems to be drawn behind the umbilical zone whereas, for the male bovid the engravings do not depict distinct the picture of penis. Majority of the bovid have long thin horns. These horns form a widely open arc of a circle. Most of the engravings are without neck probably they were cut by water erosion. Therefore, heads and horns are found separated from the rest of their body. Some of them have thin long tails without tassel. There is no indication of anatomic features of eyes and ears. The engravings are humpless with huge udder and only one of their forelimb and one of their hind legs represented. This shows that the forelimb and the hind legs are pooled to one thick line. The bovid engravings of Odola Galma represent bovid only and all of them depict humpless bovid. It is deduced that these bovid have been engraved 3000-4000 years ago.
The Odola Galma pre-historic rock art is marked by one of the two stages of a peculiar features known as the Ethiopian Arabic style (Joussaume, 1988) called Sure or Ganda Bitumen of Harar. The Odola Galma engravings are the stylistic features used in representing cattle which can be dated to the period between the end of the 3rd and the whole 2nd millennium B.C (Joussaume1981). In most bovid engravings sex can only be determined for certain when the udder is present because the ventral protuberance sometimes present may as well represent either the penis or the umbilicus but, the Odola Galma case seems different from other engravings because the sex is determined by udder and testis of bovid. Udder engraved down vertical but for testis engraved at slanted angle seems parallel to stomach. Testis of male bovid is also smaller compared to udder of the female ones. Therefore the depict could be a male with the indication of testis since the male bovid is engraved without the indication of the penis sheath. The ventral protuberance of the Odola Galma bovid represents only umbilicus. Hence, male sex is clearly identified by its testis instead of by its penis sheath. Female sex can only be determined by the presence of udder which is bigger than testis of male bovid. The heads of the engraved bovid on both banks of the river is facing the river on opposite sides. There is a 4m long and 2m wide foot path between the two pieces of engraved rocks. This rock art site is not yet deeply explored by archaeologists; however it is believed to be one of the ancient settlement areas. French archaeologists suggested that the prevailing representation of bovid of the pre-historic site of Odola Galma depicts the fundamental role that bovid played in the ideology of the people who lived during the time, particularly of herders.
Melisa Stelae site
Melisa Stelae Site is a site of historical stelaes that are found in Yem special woreda .It lies 3.2 kms from Fofa town in the left turn to the main road to Addis Ababa via Sajja town ,the capital of Yem special woreda). In this site there are stelaes with different shape and height. The tallest one is 2.6meters height and the shortest one is 60 centimeter. The archeological researches indicated that the stelaes were erected on the burial of famous people. The site is situated 287kms and 552kms far from Addis Ababa and Hawassa respectively.