The north Kenya coast, especially on the island of Pate, is rich in Historical ruins from the great Swahili civilisation which flourished there between the 12th and 19th centuries.
GV PAN Ruins
GV & MV PAN Decorations on walls (2 shots)
GV TILT DOWN EXT Mosque (4 shots)
SV Writing on wall
GV TILT UP FROM Old tomb TO tombstone
GV Ruins surrounded by jungle
SV TILT DOWN & SV Burial chambers (2 shots)
GV Tombstones (2 shots)
Initials BB/1945 NC/DW/BB/1955
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Background: The north Kenya coast, especially on the island of Pate, is rich in Historical ruins from the great Swahili civilisation which flourished there between the 12th and 19th centuries.
In spite of efforts by the Kenyan museum authorities, who are hampered by a lack of funds, the climate with its warm temperatures and sea air is wreaking havoc among the remains of beautiful buildings. Mankind also has contributed to the decay. Vandals have destroyed, and overseas visitors stolen, valuable articles from the ruins.
Many of the sites of these once-extensive settlements along the East African coast are deserted. But in the town of Siyu on Pate the people still live in simple style near the remains of the earlier community. They are doing their best to protect and restore the ruins.
Among the most spectacular in Siyu are the remains of a magnificent mosque dating from shortly before 1500. The roof over the main part of the building has fallen in but the rectangular minaret and the elegance of the carved mihrab, or sanctuary, can still be seen.
There are many ancient stone tombs, some with carved Arabic inscriptions. Many are decorated with Chinese porcelain set into rec??? -- these are of ten the target for light-fingered visitors to the area.
As well as religious buildings, the crumbling walls of many large dwellings can still be seen, reminding present-day visitors that the town of Siyu was once a large and wealthy community.