The hidden treasures of Somaliland

There are a few places on earth where it is possible to encounter archaeological key-sites that are completely unknown and not explored. And those are usually in areas on the fringe, or even outside of the most densely populated parts of the world. Of the few areas where all sorts of human activities has a long history and with possibilities to encounter large and undisturbed sites yet to be explored is Somaliland. The reason why it is so is tragic, but nevertheless, the sites are there.

Discussing where to go tomorrow


A few days of visiting such sites leaves an overwhelming impression. A Neolithic complex with several caves and shelters with paintings, activity areas with flakes, and megalithic tombs, all totally untouched. A pre-Islamic town-complex with a massive cemetery, a waste pit full of ceramics, and architectural structures that has not been properly described in any publication. A stone-tool making workshop with more flakes and cores than I have seen all together through my entire life. Ancient DNA is still far down the road here. Projects including people who are more field archaeological than I am needs to be started, excavations needs to be carried out, etc. But maybe, just maybe, one day my laboratory will be a part of an archaeogenomic study on that undisturbed site, that made me think of Sigtuna when we visited it.

Iman Tahbaz took a picture of us (Marcus Skinnar, me, Henrik Silver, and Martin ”Franke” von Zweigbergk) while stretching our legs on an excursion.