Most Ethiopianists trace the history of modern Ethiopia to the arrival of the Sabaeans. Only a few historians insist on the link of modern Ethiopia to pre-Sabaean original Cush people. Such is the link to the D'mt kingdom.
Around 800 BC the kingdom of D'mt arose in Ethiopia, centering around Yeha (thought to be its capital) in northern Ethiopia. The kingdom seems to have had very close relations with the Yemenite Sabaean kingdom. The only known inscriptions of D'mt kings include reference to the contemporaneous ruling king of the Sabaean kingdom at the time. The D'mt kingdom developed irrigation schemes, used plows, grew millet, and even made iron tools and weapons. Remains of a large stone temple dating to about 500 BC still survive at Yeha, near Axum. The transition from D'mt to the Kingdom of Aksum remains unclear.
Reference to Ethiopians in Ancient Greece however is obviously either to Africans in general, or the Cushites of Northern Sudan in particular. It is interesting to note that Greek historians viewed Ethiopia as a sacred people that was mostly loved by the Gods. Memnon was regarded as one of the noblest heroes that participated in the Trojan war and as the handsomest man of his time, bested in battle only by Achilles. According to a version of the myth, the Gods admired him so much that after his death from the sword of Achilles they decided to grant him immortality. According to Greek Mythology Ethiopians acquired their dark color when the sun came once very close to their country. Herodotus recorded that a contingent of Ethiopian warriors who wore leopard skin and claws and painted their bodies red and white were among Xerxes' army that invaded Greece in the 5th century B.C. It remains to be seen as to how the history, migration and human settlement of the vast land between ancient Egypt and modern Ethiopia helps us understand the history of the region and the pre-Christian-pre-Islam human organization of those days. The nearby Nubian civilization was crushed by the Axumite king in fourth century.