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The first among these travelers was Al-Ya'qubi, who visited the region in 872 CE. As geographical expressions, they were once convenient and representative of deep-seated ignorance of the region as a whole, although they may also have been informed by local indigenous ‘knowledge’.
Despite lacking tangible evidence, this narrative has persisted among many historians and the general population.However, new discoveries by archaeologist indicate the people of the Horn adopted material culture and deities from South Arabia not as result of mixing, but because they were "within the religious and economic orbit of greater Saba and local people took up various aspects of the material culture to signify their membership in this broader community." [Side note: Dating back to 800 BCE, the Ona sites (located near Asmara's Sembel district) were the first settled civilization in the Horn of Africa. Schmidt it was this civilization and not sites in Arabia that were the vital precursors to urban developments in Southern highlands of Eritrea and northern Ethiopia later in the first millennium BCE.] In addition to being influenced by their Red Sea neighbors, their decline may have been the cause for the adoption of the word Habesha.By the end of the 8th century CE, most of the prominent Yemeni kingdoms ended and areas they once controlled were under foreign occupation.Similarly, European travelers and missionaries had a similar experience with the term Abyssinia.When Portuguese missionaries arrived in the interior of what is present-day Ethiopia in the early 16th century CE, they took the altered word Abesha (without the letter "H" beginning) which is used by Amharic speakers and subsequently Latinized it to 'Abassia', 'Abassinos', 'Abessina' and finally into 'Abyssina'.