As other chapters in this book have made clear, the year 1000 ce seems to mark a watershed in Swahili history. In the eleventh century we see more towns, the scale of those towns increases, and public buildings begin to be made of stone. Simultaneously more imported ceramics appear in the archaeological record and platters replace more beaker-like serving dishes, indicating new preferences in ceramics and quite possibly changes in people’s diets and eating habits. At a few sites there is also a shift from millet and sorghum to rice, which parallels the appearance of the new serving vessels (Walshaw 2010; Fleisher 2010a, b). This is also the era in which a group of authors has concluded that the Swahili became ‘maritime’ (Fleisher et al. 2015). No doubt, some aspects of this transformation are attributable to processes that were internal to Swahili culture. However, these transformations coincided with significant changes in the broader Indian Ocean world. Indeed, as the Indian Ocean became a more integrated economic and cultural system, the Swahili became increasingly urban and increasingly built their buildings from stone. The 1300–1500 peak of Swahili town life coincides with one of the more prosperous phases of the Indian Ocean economy. Clearly, the Swahili world’s development and expansion paralleled and participated in processes that were part of broader changes in the Indian Ocean. Given that distance prevented the Swahili from participating in the Indian Ocean economy through overland trade, oceanic trade provided the critical link between the Swahili and the other bits of the Indian Ocean world. Boats, of course, made this possible.