Worldwide Wednesday: Swahili Coast Ruins

From a small tent city archaeologists, students, and specialists work on digging up the ruins of Songo Mnara.  According to  “the island seems a remote backwater today, but the sprawling ruins, though overgrown and studded with coconut palms and the stout, distended trunks of baobabs, tell another story—of a significant, wealthy, well-connected town. Among the dozens of ancient structures built of jagged blocks of coral, several excavation teams are at work. There are two large trenches in the town’s central clearing, and another inside one of the houses on the far side of the site. Wynne-Jones, who is overseeing the house dig, tromps through the overgrowth to greet Fleisher and review the day’s work. The archaeologists walk past graveyards and tombs in the center of town, through a series of interconnected two-story homes known as “the palace,” into two of the town’s six mosques.

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