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DEFINITION: The site of a Swahili city-state apparently established in the 9th century and distinguished for its seawalls of coral blocks, each of which weighs up to a ton. Located in the Lamu Archipelago off the coast of Kenya, it had numerous stone-built (and wattle-and-daub) houses. Trade, which seems to have been by barter, was considerable, with the main export probably of ivory. Manda had close trading connections with the Persian Gulf - Siraf in particular. It imported large quantities of Islamic pottery and, in the 9th and 10th centuries, Chinese porcelain. There is evidence of a considerable iron-smelting industry at Manda.

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