This was a key port through which Zimbabwe's gold was transported north. (The empire of Zimbabwe lay about two hundred miles from the East African coast. Therefore, it relied on coastal cities to receive and transport trade.) Besides gold, this port exported spices, tortoise shells, coconut oil, ivory, and aromatic gums, and slaves. For approximately 500 years, Kilwa was minting coins. This lasted from about A.D 1100-1600 and the coins have been found across the region, including Great Zimbabwe.