Prestige and respect may not show upon the arms and lack of armor of these light spearmen, but from their blood had seen the birth of Ethiopian civilization. Their earliest ancestors, and the first kingdom of Abyssinia was that of D'mt in the 8th century BC. The Axumites, the primary power in East Africa until the rise of Islam, had been centered in the lands of Tigray in Northern Ethiopia. Though the spearmen which hail from these lands may look humble, theirs is a land strewn with the remains of extensive palaces, ancient places of worship, and towering stelae. With origins traced to King Menelik, the child of King Solomon, faith and piety have grown strong in the soils of Tigray, with such vines of their othodox beliefs entwining themselves around all aspects of Society. Those rock-hewn churches on the hilltops of villages often forms the nucleus of all processes of the villages of the Tigrayan Highlands.