Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west and Sudan to the northwest. With over 109 million inhabitants as of 2019, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent. The country has a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the African and Somali tectonic plates. Ethiopian national identity is grounded in the historic and contemporary roles of Christianity and Islam, and the independence of Ethiopia from foreign rule, stemming from the various ancient Ethiopian kingdoms of antiquity.
Some of the oldest skeletal evidence for anatomically modern humans has been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region from which modern humans first set out for the Middle East and places beyond. According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations settled in the Horn region during the ensuing Neolithic era. Tracing its roots to the 2nd millennium BCE, Ethiopia’s governmental system was a monarchy for most of its history. Oral literature tells that the monarchy was founded by the Solomonic dynasty of the Queen of Sheba, under its first king, Menelik I. In the first centuries, the Kingdom of Aksum maintained a unified civilization in the region, followed by the Ethiopian Empire c. 1137.