Marie-Laure Derat is a researcher at Orient et Méditerranée (CNRS), France. She received her PhD in African History from Sorbonne University, Paris, France. She is an appointed member of the Scientific Council of Sub-Saharan Africa. She is the Editor in chief of the online journal Afriques, Débats, méthodes et terrains d’histoire. Currently, she is considered a leading Medievalist Historian of Ethiopia and a leading figure in the conservation project of the rock-hewn churches in the City of Lalibela launched by the French and Ethiopian Governments.