So, recently I had a chance to place a new board game called Ex Libris, in which players attempt to build a great library. All the cards have book titles on them; of these, one that stood out was a fat volume entitled Almost Forgotten Empires.
Almost sounds like a real book title, doesn’t it? After all, there’s no shortage of almost forgotten empires, right? Like the Sasanian Empire in what is now Iran, for example, or the kingdom of Aksum, which is featured in Elizabeth Wein’s wonderful Sunbird and related novels.
Well, here’s a recent post from The Guardian that’s a work along the same theme: Five lost cities of the world.
Here’s the one I found most intriguing:
Located on the Indian Ocean coast, 65 miles north of Mombasa among verdant forests, this settlement is thought to have been founded in the 12th century. Gedi had advanced features such as running water and flushing toilets. Archaeologists have found Ming Chinese vases and Venetian glass on the site, suggesting it was an important trading centre. Its abandonment five centuries later remains a mystery.
Interesting! I visited Mombasa once. No one mentioned Gedi. What a fascinating place to visit, and how interesting to imagine what the city and its world might have been like.