The Ruins of Gedi are the remains of a Swahili town located in Gede, a village near the coastal town of Malindi in Kenya.
From 13th/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 Muslim inhabitants traded with people from all over the world. Some of the findings included beads from Venice, coins and a Ming vase from China, an iron lamp from India, and scissors from Spain. Population was estimated to exceed at least 2500 people.
Gedi had a mosque, a palace, and large stone houses. 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.
In the early 16th century, the village was abandoned. A possible explanation was that a punitive expedition came from Mombasa against Malindi and forced the inhabitants to leave. A temporary reoccupation likely occurred by the nomadic Galla tribe from Somalia in the late 16th century, who later abandoned the town.
It is unclear whether the actual name of the town was Gedi, Gede, or Kilimani. The Galla word "Gede" means "precious", but the town might have been named after the last Galla leader to camp on the site.
In 1948, the remains of Gedi were declared a Kenyan national park. The ruins continue to be a popular tourist destination.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruins_of_Gedi