Authored by: Chapurukha M. Kusimba , Sloan R. Williams , Janet M. Monge , Mohamed Mchulla Mohamed , Rahul Oka , Gilbert Oteyo , Sibel B. Kusimba , Laure Dussubieux

The Swahili World

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138913462
eBook ISBN: 9781315691459
Adobe ISBN:


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The ancient town of Mtwapa is located on the Mtwapa Creek some 15 km north of Mombasa, Kenya (Figure 20.1). It was first reported by Emery (1824–6; Gray 1957: 61) when he visited it in 1824. The present site consists of five mosques and 64 houses, as well as undetermined structures, possible commercial houses and wells (Kusimba 1993). The stonetown section of Mtwapa covered approximately 8 ha, out of which four still contain standing architecture. We have surveyed, mapped and excavated 15 trenches at nine localities and two cemeteries at Mtwapa since 1986. More than 70 radiocarbon dates from the site span the period 1732 bce to 1750 ce, when Mtwapa was abandoned (Kusimba et al. 2013).

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