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Ancient art in Somaliland

Ancient art in Somaliland


Prehistoric art dating back some 5,000 years have been found in caves in the Northern part of Somalia.

The paintings at the Laas Geel are in the self-declared state of Somaliland.

The artistic works depict the lives of the people in the past with drawings of antelopes, cattle, and hunters carrying bows and arrows.

Las Geel has attracted many tourists from all over the world

A French archaeological team discovered the isolated Laas Geel caves in 2002.

Abi Salan Shabeelleh, the site manager says,“This site was discovered in december 2002, it was French and Somali people who lived here, they discussed that they wanted to, were searching for some arts, some rock arts like this type, you know.”

However, the caves are not listed as a UNESCO world heritage site as Somaliland is not recognised as a separate nation.

“We need help, protection, to make more.. we have other sites you know, to make studies, this place needs, you can see all the rocks have been washed out. We don’t have the knowledge, we don’t have the experience, we don’t have the financials,” Shabeelleh said.

The cave paintings have become one of the main attractions for visitors to Somaliland. The cave art is reportedly among the oldest found in Africa.

“Las Geel has attracted many tourists from all over the world. Europe, Asia, especially Japan and Taiwan, and also in America,” said Khalid Ossman, a manager of a tourist company.


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