The History of Somaliland encompasses a wide range of historical Somali issues and archaeological sources which date back to Prehistoric times. It is widely regarded in Somaliland as an important factor and a key significance in the Culture of Somaliland. Many scholars and historians viewed that Somaliland's history dated back to colonial times but with the recent discoverey of cave paintings outside Hargeisa, there is now a chance that Somaliland is a succesor state to a once great and mysterious civilisation.
The region that today encompasses Somaliland was home to the earliest civilization that roamed this modern day country. Unlike Somaliland, these people weren't Muslims because Islam was first brought to the region in the 7th century therefore making it a Prehistoric era in which these people prospered. The only great masterpiece that these ancient civilization produced is thought to be the most significant Neolithic cave paintings in the Horn of Africa and the African continent in general - The Laas Geel rock paintings. These cave paintings are located in a site outside the capital Hargeisa. These paintings were untouched and intact for nearly 10,000 years until it was discovered recently. The paintings show these indigenous people worshiping cattle. There are also paintings of giraffes, domesticated canines and wild antelopes. The paintings show the cows wearing ceremonial robes while next to them are some of these people prostrating in front of the cattle.The caves were discovered by a French archaeological team during November and December 2002. Hence, the Las Geel cave paintings have become a major tourist attraction and a national treasure.
The Land of Punt
Somaliland together with Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti (also known as the Horn of Africa.) were known to the Ancient Egyptians as the Land of Punt. The earliest definite record of contact between Ancient Egypt and Punt comes from an entry on the Palermo stone during the reign of Sahura of the Fifth Dynasty around 2250 BCE. It says that, in one year, 80,000 units of myrrh and frankincense was brought to Egypt from Punt as well as other quantities of goods that were highly valued in Ancient Egypt. From the Thirteenth to the Seventeenth Dynasty, the contact between Egypt and Punt was broken. This was due to the fact that Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos. The fifth ruler in the Eighteen Dynasty of Egyptian Pharaohs was Queen Hatshepsut, daughter of Tutmose III. She became Queen in the year 1493 BCE and made a landmark expedition to the land of Punt which is recorded on the walls of the Deir ci-Bahari temple located in Alexandria. Her eight ships sailed to Puntland and came back with cargoes of fine woods, ebony, myrrh, cinnamon and incense trees to plant in the temple garden. The roman emperor Augustus sent an expedition to conquer actual Yemen. During that military expedition the roman fleet of Gaius Gallus destroyed the port of Aden in order to open a safe sea route to India and to the Punt for the roman merchants.
The Kingdom of Axum encompassed modern day northern Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen and western Somaliland from the 1st century to the 3rd century CE. Unfortunately the Axumite cultural impact on earliest Somaliland is unknown, because no archaeological surveys have been carried out in the Awdal and Wooqoyi Galbeed regions.
Early Islamic States in Western Somaliland
Somalis embraced Islam in the in the 7th century Scholars say early followers of the Prophet Muhammad fled to Zeila from Mecca around 615 A.D. And current residents say those early Muslims built a mosque facing in two directions, toward Jerusalem and Mecca. It is believe to have been one of the first outside the Middle East, marking Islam's initial entry into Africa. Arabs began to administer the small town on the Gulf of Aden soon after their arrival, but by the 16th century, Ottoman Turks took over administration, followed by a brief stint from the Egyptians. Britain began governing in the late 1800s. Throughout the centuries, Zeila developed into a major trading and commercial port.