Nilo-Saharan languages are also spoken by the nation's Nilotic ethnic minorities.
Oromo is the most populous language by native speakers, while Amharic is the most populous by number of total speakers and serves as the working language in the federal government.
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. During the late 19th-century Scramble for Africa, Ethiopia and Liberia were two nations that preserved their sovereignty from long-term colonisation by a European colonial power and many newly-independent nations on the continent subsequently adopted its flag colours.
The Ethiopian Highlands are the largest continuous mountain ranges in Africa, and the Sof Omar Caves contains the largest cave on the continent.
Ethiopia also has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa.
In 1974, the Ethiopian monarchy under Haile Selassie was overthrown by the Derg, a communist military government backed by the Soviet Union.
In 1987, the Derg established the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, but it was overthrown in 1991 by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has been the ruling political coalition since.
Its capital city Addis Ababa serves as the headquarters of the African Union, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Standby Force, and many of the global NGOs focused on Africa.The oldest of these local fossil finds, the Omo remains, were excavated in the southwestern Omo Kibish area and have been dated to the Middle Paleolithic, around 200,000 years ago.Additionally, skeletons of Homo sapiens idaltu were found at a site in the Middle Awash valley.The hominid is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago.Ethiopia is also considered one of the earliest sites of the emergence of anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens.