1. Kilwa Kisiwani – Kilwa Kisiwani is a community on an island off the southern coast of present-day Tanzania in eastern Africa. Historically, it was the center of the Kilwa Sultanate, a medieval sultanate whose authority at its height in the 13th-15th centuries AD stretched the length of the Swahili Coast. Kilwa Kisiwani has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the nearby stonetown Songo Mnara, Kilwa Kisiwani is an archaeological city-state site located along the Swahili Coast on the Kilwa archipelago. It was occupied from at least the 8th century AD and became one of the most powerful settlements along the coast, the seasonal wind reversals would affect trade circulations. Many of the Swahili settlements showed complex layouts that reflected social relations between groups, however at Kilwa, there are many questions left unanswered about the town layout. The cemeteries were located on the edge of the town, which was common for the region, an important city for trade, around the 13th century there were increased fortifications and a greater flow of goods. For these to take place, there would need to be a form of political administration overseeing the city, much of the trade networks were with the Arabian peninsula. Kilwa Kisiwani reached its highest point in wealth and commerce between 13th and 15th centuries AD, evidence of growth in wealth can be seen with the appearance of stone buildings around the 13th century AD, before which all of the buildings were wattle-and-daub. The socio-economic status of the individuals residing there could be seen in the type of structure they were living in. Among Kilwas exports were spices, tortoise shell, coconut oil, ivory, at around this time, Kilwa had seized control over the trade of gold at Sofala. The wealthy also possessed more commercial goods than the individuals who were of lower class did, luxury cloths and foreign ceramics were among a few of the items they would have owned, though some items, such as luxury cloths, do not preserve in the archaeological record. For approximately 500 years, Kilwa was minting coins and this lasted from about A. D 1100-1600 and the coins have been found across the region, including Great Zimbabwe. Marine resources were abundant and utilized for food, food sources would also come from the surrounding land. But because of the impact the sea, with all of the resources and trade opportunities, had on Kilwa. The soil at Kilwa that was found over the limestone was of poor quality, however, the soil in the Kilwa region would have been suitable for growing cotton, which could be used in sail manufacture. 12th century spindle whorls have been found, indicating that cotton was used and processed in this area, at first, most of the focus was placed on the archaeology of Kilwas ports and harbors, however, more and more emphasis is being placed on Kilwas hinterlands. Ceramic artifacts are plentiful at the site and can be divided into two groups, regional and coastal, all of the ceramics with regional distribution were locally produced, but the area of distribution is limited. These unglazed ceramics were referred to as Kitchen Wares, though their uses were not necessarily just as cooking vessels and it is important to note that all of the varieties of locally produced pottery found in the region were also uncovered at the site of Kilwa itselfKilwa Kisiwani – UNESCO World Heritage Site
2. Tongoni Ruins – The Tongoni Ruins are 15th century ruins of a mosque and forty tombs in Tongoni, a small fishing village 17 km south of Tanga in Tanzania. The area was a different place four to five centuries ago, contrary to its almost unnoticed presence today, it was a prosperous and a respected trading centre during the 15th century. One tradition claims that Tongoni was established by the Shirazi people, there are also claims that the settlement of Tongoni was once dominated by the Wadebuli, a population believed to be of Indian origin that come from Dabhol, situated off the West Coast of India. Dhabol was a seaport in the 15th century belonging to the Bahmani rulers of the Deccan Plateau, the Bahmani had extensive trading links with Kilwa, which was then the largest trading centre in Southeast Africa. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese sailor, first visited Tongoni in April 1498 and he had the opportunity to eat the local oranges, which he said were better than those available in Portugal. He made a visit the following year, and spent fifteen days in Tongoni. The ruins at Tongoni are under the Antiquities department, the ruins are open to the public but there have been no Phase III excavations. Decades ago, a small test excavation was conducted at the site, in 2006, an American archaeologist conducted additional test excavations and mapped the site using modern methods of site survey. A resident guide, Mr. Job Tengamaso is available to visitors around. A more recent ruin of a mosque at the end of the village, on the beach. Urithi Newsletter, Vol 1 No 1, Sep.2000Tongoni Ruins – The Tongoni Ruins south of Tanga in Tanzania.