Archeology Travel Video X-Files

Laas Geel Caves: 5,000-Year-Old Paintings Bespeak About Ancient Civilization

cave paitingn

It is interesting to know with regards to the manner in which the people lived in the ancient times. It gives a peek into the civilization. It at the same time depicts the practices pursued at that era. Thus, the people are always interested in finding out what lies in the past. It is immensely fascinating to know it all. The richness of a place, the way the people lived, the practices they pursued, the lifestyle they portrayed!

This is exactly the work done by the archeologists

Art has been prevalent all the time. And, every civilization has artists which portray the same on the rocks, walls, utensils and the like. It is with the aid of these means, that at present the people are able to understand and interpret the civilization practices.

This is exactly applicable to the second largest city in Somalia. These are the Laas Geel Caves. They are nestled about 37 miles to the north of Hargesia. The term Laas Geel in Somali language implies-“where the camels once watered”.

laas_geelCenturies of isolation and local beliefs that the site was haunted and the art the work of evil spirits may have contributed to Laas Geel's protection.
laas_geel_alcoveOne of the alcoves at Laas Geel caves, Somaliland

The Laas Geel is like a huge plateau of granite. It was carved out by the wadis. There have been paintings on the caves in here for ages. However, it was in the year 2002, that the local residents guided a team of French archeologists to the caves. In here the archeologists were able to find about the civilization, the past and the practices which were followed. It was really fascinating that the ancient rock art portrayed the life which existed 5,000 years ago. Since, the climate of the region is dry; hence, the paintings have been well preserved. The paintings depict the Ethiopian Arabian style.

laas_geel_single_cowDepiction of a ceremonial cow

Archaeologists say that Laas Geel may only be one of many treasures awaiting discovery in the vast rocky plains stretching towards the tip of the Horn of Africa. Here is a short summary with regards to the paintings of the cave:

– The cave paintings were at least 5000 years ago. In fact, there is also the estimate that they can be as old as twice the age.
– The paintings show versatility in color. The colors utilized by ancient artists include red ocher, white, yellow ochre and also black.
– The animals depicted in the paintings include camels, giraffes, dogs, antelopes etc.
– In fact, the painting also shows migrants and nomadic worshipping and offering prayers to cows.
– Hence, the depiction portrays both the wild animals as well as the domestic ones.

laas_geel_cow_herdThe Laas Geel cave paintings are thought to be some of the most vivid rock art in Africa.

– In accordance with the art, the figures have a thick neck.
–  Yet again, the cows are seen wearing ornaments and decked up well. There have also been seen paintings of cows in ceremonial robes accompanied by the human figures.
–  The fondest animal seems to be a dog. There have been witnesses of the figure which has pointed ears and curved tails. Again, in relation to this best friend of humans, it has been shown in many paintings of being accompanied by a human figure.
– There are almost 200 shelters were in the painted panels are distributed.
– There are paintings which are as large as 5 m. Their width reaches almost 10 m.

All images via Wikipedia

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