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Featured Fellow: Michael Gervers

People have carved churches out of solid rock since at least the 11th century, but until recently, scholars thought the practice had died out. Enter Michael Gervers, a professor in the department of historical and cultural studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough and expert on Ethiopian history. While travelling throughout rural Ethiopia to digitize ecclesiastical manuscripts, he encountered hundreds of rock-cut churches, some carved not just within the past 500 years, but within the past two decades.

With the support of the U.K.-based Arcadia Fund, which has a focus on cultural preservation, Gervers is now digitally recording the knowledge and techniques of the few remaining stone church craftsmen in the rapidly industrializing country.

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