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Rock paintings of Laas Geel, Somaliland



Laas Geel (in Somali: Laasgeel), or Laas Gaal, sometimes written Las Geel, is a set of decorated rock shelters dating from the Neolithic period. They are located halfway between Hargeisa and Berbera, Somaliland, in the Woqooyi Galbeed region. This prehistoric site, whose paintings are believed to be 5,000 to 4,000 years old, is the most important center of rock art in the Horn of Africa.

The density of the paintings is significant and there are more than a thousand figures representing very stylized cows seen in profile, with lyre or arched horns, voluminous udders and long necks decorated with a sort of plastron . There are also figures of bulls, rare in Laas Geel, and a cow engraved on a vertical wall. These dominant figures are associated with images of enigmatic “pin-headed” figures, dressed in pants and a tunic, always placed below or behind a cow. They are sometimes accompanied by a dog. Representations of wild fauna (monkeys, giraffes, antelopes, jackals or hyenas) are much rarer. We also notice many signs (punctuations, arabesques of dots, sticks, dashes). The representations are monochrome or polychrome, using red ochre, white, yellow ochre, green and black.

More infos on : Laas Geel — Wikipédia (

Par najeeb — Herd of cows, CC BY-SA 2.0,


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Rock paintings of Laas Geel, Somaliland