|The objective of the current research project, sponsored by the Arcadia Fund, is to
1) identify rock-hewn churches in Ethiopia created over the past century
2) document the process of carving out contemporary examples
3) interview members of the itinerant workshops currently active in Ethiopia in order to record as comprehensive an account of their craft and its vocabulary as possible
4) produce extensive audio-visual documentation of the foregoing
5) provide a firm link whereby this craft can be connected to material and religious history, the social history of artisans in a broader context, and the moral economies surrounding their trades
6) determine whether the current activity is a continuation of ancient precedents, or whether it is a revival.
The bulk of the documentation is being carried out by historian Michael Gervers from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), Canada. The documentation collected through video recordings of interviews with master craftsmen, priests, nuns, administrators and parishioners in rural Ethiopia which is presented here has been copied, archived and placed on-line on an open-access server at the University of Toronto Scarborough.