Great Zimbabwe The word "Zimbabwe" is thought to be derived from a Shona phrase meaning "stone enclosure" or "house of rock.
A case study What have archaeologists found out about Great Zimbabwe? The ruins of Great Zimbabwe provide evidence of an early and sophisticated civilisation.
For nearly years, until independence inthe area was known as Rhodesia. During this period of colonial rule, the African people of the area were dispossessed of their land, their rights and their heritage.
Although the evidence clearly showed that Great Zimbabwe had been built by Africans, the Rhodesian government did everything in its power to suppress this knowledge.
Cecil John Rhodes and other white settlers refused to believe that Great Zimbabwe was built by Africans. Rhodes Great zimbabwe ruins place of the a miner called Theodore Bent to dig up bits of Great Zimbabwe in order to prove that it had been built by either Arabs or Phoenicians.
Despite colonial attempts to suppress the heritage of the African people of the area, Great Zimbabwe became a potent symbol of African achievement and resistance. During the war years of the s and s, the African people held up Great Zimbabwe as a symbol of the African nationalist struggle for freedom.
However, it was only after independence that Zimbabwe was able to reclaim its history and heritage. The ruins of Great Zimbabwe have become a symbol of the new state and its freedom from colonial rule.
Evidence was deliberately suppressed in order to promote the policies and belief systems of the white colonial government in what was then known as Rhodesia. The former mud dwellings within the stone enclosures "are unquestionably African in every detail and belong to a period which is fixed by foreign imports as, in general, medieval.
I was told by the then-director of the Museums and Monuments organisation to be extremely careful about talking to the press about the origins of the Zimbabwe state. I was told that the museum service was in a difficult situation, that the government was pressurising them to withhold the correct information.
Censorship was a daily occurrence. Once a member of the Museum Board of Trustees threatened me with losing my job if I said publicly that blacks had built Zimbabwe". The land itself can provide many clues about life in the past. Great Zimbabwe is situated on the edge of the Zimbabwe plateau just as it starts its descent to the lowlands in the East.
Historians are able to provide a number of reasons that explain why Great Zimbabwe was established in that exact spot by examining the landscape: Tsetse flies, which cause a fatal disease called sleeping sickness, are not found on the highlands of the plateau.
The settlement is on the south-eastern edge of the plateau where good rains and rivers meant the land was able to support the cattle and produce the large amounts of grain, sorghum and millet needed to sustain a large population.
It was a trading centre. Gold was mined to the west of Great Zimbabwe and ivory passed through Zimbabwe on the way to Sofala on the Mozambique coast. From here, goods from India like cloth, jewellery and iron implements hoes, axes and chisels found their way back to Zimbabwe.
The rounded granite hills that are within walking distance of the site provided the granite blocks that the settlement was built from. The early occupants of Great Zimbabwe were cattle farmers, but they also grew crops like sorghum and millet.
Generally, carnivorous pastoralism takes place where the grazing is excellent and human populations are increasing. Milk pastoralism takes place where grazing is not so good and cannot sustain a growing population. Archaeologists found about pieces of animal bones on the lower slopes around Great Zimbabwe.
Almost all of these were cattle bones. Significantly, about 80 per cent of the bones of slaughtered cattle dug up in the Great Zimbabwe site came from animals between 24 and 36 months old - the age when beef cattle are in their prime. This tells us that they used cattle mostly as a source of beef rather than as a source of milk.
It also suggests that Great Zimbabwe was a stable settlement.
The people living there did not move around looking for grazing. They were able to stay in one area for centuries and become a wealthy community. The buildings of Great Zimbabwe Great Zimbabwe is one of the largest old stone-walled settlements ever found in southern Africa.
Building started around the year AD At its height, it is believed that 18 people lived at Great Zimbabwe. The stone walls vary in height and size and create different spaces called enclosures. Each enclosure was home to people of a certain social status. Archaeologists and anthropologists have used a number of sources in trying to reconstruct the systems of power and status that existed in Great Zimbabwe.
The Portuguese established a number of trading stations in the area in the s.Africa was the birthplace of civilization, humanity. An agent shaping world history. Great Zimbabwe is an archaeological site which is a very important heritage resource in southern Africa.
The name of the country of Zimbabwe is even based on . Image: An aerial picture of the Great Enclosure where royalty and their advisers lived at Great Zimbabwe.
Source: kaja-net.com Where is Great Zimbabwe?
The Great Zimbabwe ruins date from the Iron Age and lie between the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers in the Limpopo Province east of the Kalahari Desert. Nov 19, · Great Zimbabwe, or the remains of it, is a huge ruined city and is the largest stone structure ever built south of the Sahara.
For more than four centuries is was the home of many kings and rulers and Zimbabwe even got its name from it. Unfortunately, the ruins have been damaged over the last two centuries – not least due to the British journalist Richard Nicklin Hall, who in was appointed curator of Great Zimbabwe by the.
Meaning ''great house of stone'' Great Zimbabwe Monument gives its name to the country and also its national symbol, the Zimbabwe Bird, the original gold artifacts of which were found within the Great Zimbabwe ruins.