Kilwa Kisiwani dates back to the 9th century as one of the most famous trading posts in East Africa and on the Indian Ocean. From the 11th century to early 15th century this island community off the southern coast of present-day Tanzania was a powerful city, political force, and major trading center with close links to the interior of Africa as well as distant Asian ports. Goods exchanged here included gold, iron, ivory, slaves, textiles, jewelry, porcelain and spices. Today, Kilwa Kisiwani is a UNESCO World Heritage site whose ancient ruins can be explored on foot. From the Malindi Mosque and cemetery, to Fort Gereza, the tombs of the sultans, several mosques, and the Great House, the site allows the imagination to experience the Kilwa Sultanate that once ruled here. Highlights include a fourteenth century palace — no structure of its size was built anywhere else along the coast – and a fortified enclosure, very similar to structures found in Syria, Turkey and the Persian Gulf.