The ruins of Gedi in the depths of the great Arabuko Sokoke forest in Kenya. Is a place of great mystery, an archaeological puzzle that continues to engender debate among historians. Built during the 14th century AD, and later abandoned in the early 16th century.
From the 13th or 14th to 17th centuries, Gedi was a thriving community along the jungle coast of East Africa. Although no written record exists of this town, excavations between 1948 and 1958 revealed that the inhabitants traded with people from all over the world. Some of the findings included beads from Moorish Venice, coins and a Ming vase from China, an iron lamp from India, and scissors from Spain. The population was estimated to exceed at least 2500 people. These items can be found in the museum in the complex which was opened in 2000.
To this day, despite extensive research and exploration, nobody is really sure what happened to the town of Gedi and its peoples. This once great civilization was a powerful and complex Swahili settlement with a population of over 2500, built during the 13th century. The ruins of Gedi include many houses, mansions, and elaborate tombs and cemeteries.
These houses were complex for their time, with bathrooms with drains and overhead basins to flush toilets. The city’s streets were laid out at right angles and had drainage gutters. There are also wells which supplied water to the community. The material used to construct the buildings was made from coral reef from the nearby ocean.
Despite the size and complexity of this large (at least 45 acres) settlement, it is never mentioned in any historic writings or local recorded history.
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