Friday, 26 November 2010

Photo Friday: Ancient cave paintings at Laas Geel, Somaliland

Welcome to Photo Friday, a series I started last week here on Midlist Writer. This week's pick is one of the 300 (!) shots I took of the painted caves of Laas Geel in Somaliland. On a rocky hill in the middle of the Somali desert are a dozen rock shelters covered with paintings of cows, hunters, giraffes, and other images. Somali archaeologists estimate the paintings to be from 5,000 to 11,000 years old. Many painted caves have come to light in recent years and an ongoing survey will almost certainly find more.

Somaliland is a breakaway region of northern Somalia. They enjoy peace, government, and the rule of law. While Somaliland has its share of problems, it's WAY better off than the rest of Somalia. I went there earlier this year and wrote a series on Somaliland travel.

In January I'm going to have a photo exhibition about Somaliland at a local cafe in Madrid. More on that later!


Sioux Roslawski said...

I read your articles on Somaliland, and especially appreciated the note about foreigners needing to visit Egypt...that it would help BOTH countries. So true. Americans go to other countries and rant about the "ugliness" of the foreign cultures, never even entertaining the thought that they themselves might have a less-than-beautiful side.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sean---I understand the languages spoken in Somaliland are Somali and Arabic; English is also taught in schools.

If someone wanted to donate a few books to the Gandi Public Library, could you 1) give me the address and contact person's name and 2) suggest a language of choice for any books procured. (I am assuming that books in English would not be desirable.)

Midlist Writer said...


You are correct about the main languages in Somaliland. I do have an address (contact me via email) the problem is that any books would have to be shipped with a private shipping company. Because Somaliland isn't a recognized country, it isn't recognized by the International Postal Union and therefore doesn't have postal service!

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.