ZULA, a small town near the head of Annesley Bay on the African coast of the Red Sea. It derives its chief interest from ruins in its vicinity which are generally supposed to mark the site of the ancient emporium of Adulis ("A&wXij, 'ASovXti), the port of Axum (q.v.) and chief outlet in the early centuries of the Christian era for the ivory, hides, slaves and other exports of the interior. Cosmas Indicopleustes saw here an inscription of Ptolemy Euergetes (247-222 B.C.); and hence, as the earliest mention of Adulis is found in the geographers of the first century A.D., it is conjectured that the town must have previously existed under another name and may have been the Berenice Panchrysus of the Ptolemies. Described by a Greek merchant of the time of Vespasian as " a well-arranged market," the place has been for centuries buried under sand. The ruins visible include a temple, obelisks and numerous fragments of columns.
In 1857 an agreement was entered into by Dejaj Negusye, a chief of Tigre, in revolt against the Negus Theodore of Abyssinia, to cede Zula to the French. Negusye was defeated by Theodore, and the commander of a French cruiser sent to Annesley Bay in 1859 found the country in a state of anarchy. No farther steps were taken by France to assert its sovereignty, and Zula with the neighbouring coast passed, nominally, to Egypt in 1866. Zula was the place where the British expedition of 1867-68 against Theodore disembarked, Annesley Bay affording safe and ample anchorage for the largest ocean-going vessels. The road made by the British from Zula to Senafe on the Abyssinian plateau is still in use. The authority of Egypt having lapsed, an Italian protectorate over the district of Zula was proclaimed in 1888, and in 1890 it was incorporated in the colony of Eritrea (q.v.).
See Eduard Riippell, Reise in Abyssinien, i. 266 (1838) ; G. Rohlfs in Zeitschr. d. Gesett. f. Erdkunde in Berlin, iii. (1868), and, for further references, the editions of the Periplus by C. Muller (Geog. Gr. Min., i. 259) and Fabricius (1883). Consult also ETHIOPIA: The Axumite Kingdom.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)