Ruin at Agoola, Tigre, 1868

Source: UK National Army Museum

Watercolour by Captain Cornelius Francis James, Bombay Staff Corps, 1868.

James painted this view of ancient ruins in the Tigre region of Ethiopia during the advance of Lieutenant-General Sir Robert (later Field Marshal Lord) Napier’s expeditionary force to Emperor Tewodros II (or King Theodore) of Abyssinia’s capital at Magdala. Although the engineers laid a railway and built a road part of the way into the interior of the country, Napier’s men still had to traverse over 400 miles (640 km) of difficult country to get to Magdala. James served with the Bombay Staff Corps during the Abyssinian (1867-1868) Expedition.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1990-01-73-1


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright

Here you have a photo of the same Agula’i ruins, also in 1868. From the Winterton collection. It is a stereoscope photograph, so the two photos were taken from slightly different angles, which gave a sense of three-dimensional depth if viewed through a a specially designed instrument – a stereoscope. A Victorian invention popular in Britain in the late nineteenth century.

The ruins are still said to be there.