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Debre Damo is the name of a flat-topped mountain, or Amba, and a 6th century monastery in northern Ethiopia. The mountain is a steeply rising plateau of trapezoidal shape, about 1000 by 400 meters in dimension.

The monastery received its first archeological examination by E. Littman who led a German expedition to northern Ethiopia in the early 20th century. By the time David Buxton saw the ancient church in the mid-1940s, he found it "on the point of collapse"; a few years later, the English architect D.H. Matthews assisted in the restoration of the building, which included the rebuilding of one of its wood and stone walls (a characteristic style of Aksumite architecture).

Thomas Pakenham, who visited the church in 1955, records a tradition that Debre Damo had also once been a royal prison for heirs to the Emperor of Ethiopia, like the better known Wehni and Amba Geshen. The exterior walls of the church were built of alternating courses of limestone blocks and wood, "fitted with the projecting stumps that Ethiopians call 'monkey heads.'

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