In the summer of 1973, Sondra Quatrain crested a sun-warmed rocky hillock in the Harlaa region of Ethiopia three miles south of a newly discovered 12th century mosque. Spread out before her was rough terrain: terraced slopes with scrubby grasses, drooping brownish-green shrubs, and the ubiquitous pyracantha coccinea, then in bloom with small bursts of bright red berries. She was searching for more artifacts when she turned her ankle—and as she sat down to gather herself, she noticed a strange, round rock, slightly dun colored, and lighter than the surrounding landscape.
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