Gede Ruins - an archaeologists paradise

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February 3rd 2010
Published: March 3rd 2010
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First impressionsFirst impressionsFirst impressions

What a sight when you think your going to see old ruins. I loved the forest grown up amongst it all.

Gede Ruins

Close to Watamu there is a large archaeological site known as the Gede ruins. Buried on approximately 45 acres of land they have uncovered 2kms2 of remains of an ancient Swahili town where the rich and elite lived, dating back to at least the 13th century. It was thought to be a trading point, receiving goods coming in from the coast and distributing to the local region. Shaded by an imposing 400 year old forest of giant baobab and fig strangler trees the area is stunningly beautiful and serene. With primary school children and other Kenyans visiting mostly in the month of December we were pretty much the only people there so were able to wander and enjoy the place at our own pace.

The setting was such that as we wandered around I had Indiana Jones inspired visions of secret passage ways and adventures abound, if only! This day dream was topped off when we met a real life archaeologist doing some investigations into the depths of the wells. Interestingly the predicted cause of the towns demise in the 18th Century is that the water tables dried up. They even had a stone built filtration system so they could use and recycle the water back in to the wells if it was used for certain purposes, amazing!

We hired a very good local guide called Mr ‘T’ (funnily enough his real name was Mr Chai). He filled us in on the design and purpose of the buildings whilst making lots of ‘dad’ jokes (ie so bad that they are funny - sorry Allan and all the other dads out there, it seems to be programmed in once you have children!). One of particular note was about he’d just served up a cup of tea and now it was on to the main course, breakfast.... oh dear... hehehe.

There is not too much more to say as the pictures tell a better story but it was a very enjoyable day.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Huge treesHuge trees
Huge trees

We paled in comparison!
Ancient water recyclingAncient water recycling
Ancient water recycling

This was a really interesting part where they use water to wash before the mosque that was then filtered and re-entred into the water storage system

When you called into this area (one of four in each corner) others could hear you calling from the mosque to come for prayer time.
Archeologists Archeologists

Resting in the shade. It was well over 30 degrees that day with little breeze

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