In-spite of extensive research, the history of Gedi and its peoples still remains an archaeological mystery.
Think Indiana Jones - and you'll know what we're talking about! The Gedi Ruins are Kenya's Lost City lying in the depths of the great Arabuko Sokoke forest on the north coast of Kenya.
Once a great civilization with a population of over 2500 inhabitants, this complex Swahili settlement was built during the 13th century. The Gedi ruins include elaborate houses, mosques tombs and cemeteries.
Strangely, Gedi doesn't seem to be mentioned in any historic writings or local recorded history which has baffled historians as Gedi was a relatively complex civilization spanning a 45 acre settlement. There seems to have been no contact with the nearby settlement at Malindi.
Another mystery is that Gedi town appears to have been a trading outpost, yet this seems to be an unlikely situation with it's location being some distance from the sea and hidden deep in a forest. Under these circumstances, historians have asked who traded with Gedi, what did they trade and why aren't there records of Gedi in neighbouring settlements?
One of Gedi's greatest mysteries; however, is why the inhabitants of this interesting settlement suddenly abandoned it in the 17th century leaving it to ruination in the forest. With no signs of battle, plague, disturbance or any cause for this sudden desertion, this strange mystery is what visitors may ponder as they take a look around this mysterious ghost town in the indigenous jungles of East Africa.
Hidden under thick layers of ancient rainforest, local folklore has in the past regarded Gedi as a place of sinister spirits. After several hundred years, this secret, hidden city began to be uncovered by archaeologists the site in the 20th century. It was gazetted in 1948.
Visitors can now visit the Gedi ruins museum and guides are more than happy to take you through the ruins where you can see pillars and stone walls, ruined mosques and tombs. Ancient stone floors and deserted houses sit silently in this tropical environment where questions linger in the air among the butterflies, birds, lizards, creepers and wildflowers.
Main photo copyright of herr_hartmann @ Flickr.com
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