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Amud or Amoud (Somali: Camuud, Arabic: العامود‎) is an ancient, ruined town in the northwestern Awdal region of Somaliland.[1] Named after its patron Saint Amud[2] it was a center of activity during the Golden Age of the Adal Kingdom. The archaeological site is situated 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level, around 10 km southeast of the regional capital Borama.[3][4]

Archaeological site
Amud, Somalia.jpg
Amud is located in Somalia
Location in Somaliland
Coordinates: 9°59′57″N 43°13′56″E / 9.99917°N 43.23222°E / 9.99917; 43.23222Coordinates: 9°59′57″N 43°13′56″E / 9.99917°N 43.23222°E / 9.99917; 43.23222
Country Somaliland
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)


The old section of Amud spans 25 acres (100,000 m2) and contains hundreds of ancient ruins of multi-roomed courtyard houses, stone walls, complex mosques, and other archaeological remains, including intricate colored glass bracelets and Chinese ceramics.[5]

According to Sonia Mary Cole, the town features 250 to 300 houses and an ancient temple. The temple was constructed of carefully dressed stone, and was later transformed into a mosque. It also features pottery lamps. Altogether, the building techniques, among other factors, point to a close association with Aksumite archaeological sites from the 2nd to 5th centuries AD.[6]

Amud is home to several historic pilgrimage sites belonging to celebrated Somali Saints, the most prominent being Saint Sau, Saint Amud and Saint Sharlagamadi. During his research in the area, the historian G.W.B. Huntingford noticed that whenever a historic site had the prefix Aw in its name (such as the ruins of Aw Barre), it denoted the final resting place of a local Saint.[4] The patron Saint Amud is buried in the vicinity of the ancient town.[7]

The Amoud University in Borama is named after the archaeological site.


The region around the ancient town and university is inhabited by the Faarah Nuur, one of the two sub divisions of Reer Nuur, a subclan of the Gadabuursi Dir clan.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Damtew Teferra, African higher education: an international reference handbook, (Indiana University Press: 2003)
  2. ^ Somaliland: With Addis Ababa and Eastern Ethiopia
  3. ^ Somaliland: With Addis Ababa and Eastern Ethiopia, p. 148
  4. ^ a b Huntingford, "The town of Amud, Somalia", Azania, 13 (1978), p. 184
  5. ^ The Archaeology of Islam in Sub Saharan Africa, p. 72/73
  6. ^ Cole, Sonia Mary (1964). The Prehistory of East Africa. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 275.
  7. ^ Somaliland: With Addis Ababa and Eastern Ethiopia,
  8. ^ Hayward, R. J.; Lewis, I. M. (2005-08-17). Voice and Power. Routledge. ISBN 9781135751753.

External linksEdit