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THE ANCIENT KINGDOM OF PUNT AND ITS FACTOR IN EGYPTIAN HISTORY Archaeology and Culture Part IX

By Said M-Shidad Hussein

The diverse archaeological and cultural aspects observed in Somalia in relation to the case of the Land of Punt are further plausible data and must determine the location of that land. These findings might even adequately constitute a conclusive evidence for the location without a need for the above-discussed information. Somalia shares these archaeo-cultural aspects with the ancient Egypt. The similarities of many, peculiar shared objects and ideas are absolutely beyond expectation.

Salaxley
well-set dry stone slabs of rectangular tomb, Sallaxley, Photo by the author

They consist of new and old archaeological discoveries, and previously-known an unknown extensive ethno-cultural phenomena. It was traditionally known that the northern Somalia was a home of pre-historic painted pastoralist culture and numerous semi-pyramid monuments, but more paints and new sculptures have recently been discovered in that region.

1) Previously-noted Archeo-cultural Connections

As first-known artifacts, Neolithic blades found in the Doy region, west of Muqdisho, were culturally connected with those discovered at Hilwan in the south of Cairo. Arrows from the same Doy were also found to be similar to others unearthed at Fayyum and Kharjah in Upper Egypt also. These Last Stone Age tools have not been found at any other place in sub-Saharan Africa.
Since we are discussing previously-observed ethno-cultural similarities in this section, we mention these artifacts here which are otherwise supposed to be included the below-undertaken archaeological findings.

In general, there is no big difference among the discussion points in this article as a material. But our categorization of the points just relates to the nature of information or the period in which it has been noted by the scholars. If these artifacts were excavated at the beginnings of the archaeology work in Somalia, the traditional readily-made earthworks play a good role for covering the shortfalls in the work.

Taalla-Tiirriyaat

One of the best examples of these earthworks is the renowned monuments in Somalia which is known as Taallo-Tiirriyaat, the monuments of Tiirri. These unusual ancient cairns are also archaeo-cultural facts for the case. Although these monuments were known by the scholars on Somali studies, they have never been studied adequately.

To draw our attention to this important earthwork which did not receive the required focus, Neville Chittick wrote, “The existence of cairns in many areas of Somaliland, particularly in the North, has long been known. Little work however has been directed towards the archaeological investigation of these monuments termed in Somali Taalo and very few indeed have been excavaded”.

These Taallos or cairns have been identified with the Egyptian pyramids. They are culturally identical to the funerary structures in Egypt and Sudan. Seemingly, the two types of structures were built for the same purposes, but the techniques in erecting the Somali one were poorer than that of the Nile valley. The primary aims behind the building of the Taallos were satisfying funeral requirements and preserving the memories on the important persons or ancestors. As it was in Egypt, most of these persons were buried with some of their material possessions.

However the Somali monuments are two numerous and are extensive. They number hundreds of thousands or even millions and they are found on the top or the slope of every stony hill and mount. Their number may vary from one region to another. Their shape is not uniform likewise. Some were formed as a pyramid; others are almost oval; some tombs are encircled by semi-quadratic, rectangular, or round dry stones. However, the differences are largely insignificant in the shape of tombs. They were mostly extended according to the length and width of the diseased. In this respect, the people were tall.

Read more: The Ancient Kingdom of Punt- Archaeology and Culture

Said M-Shidad Hussein

Mr. Said M-Shidad is the dean of the faculty of Somali Studies and Journalism, a member of Development Studies lecturers at Puntland State University, Garowe, Somalia and a regular contributor to WardheerNews. He can be reached Email: saidshidad@gmail.com


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