The Great Zimbabwe civilizations were one of the most impressive civilizations during the Medieval period (Manu, 2004). Many European travelers were very surprised to discover and hear about the impressive African civilization existing in the interior of southern Africa…
Therefore, Mauch had a vision; he theorized that the Great Zimbabwe monuments had been actually made by Biblical characters visiting from the north. He stated: "I do not think that I am far wrong if I suppose that the ruin on the hill is a copy of Solomon's Temple on Mount Moriah and the building in the plain a copy of the palace where the Queen of Sheba lived during her visit to Solomon." Mauch further stated that a "civilized [read: white] nation must once have lived there." To us nowadays, this seems very far-fetched and the concept of the indigenous people actually building the monuments seems far more likely, but this was not true of most European assumptions during the late 1800s (Manu, 2004).
The civilization actually existed around 1100-1450 AD, which was actually when the civilization was at the height of its power (Manu, 2004). There are still modern day settlers in the region, made up of mostly shone-speaking farmers. The civilization is located in south central Africa, which is considered current Zimbabwe, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. The actual site itself sits on a high plateau, over 1000 m (Manu, 2004). This civilization is important for a variety of reasons. First, this site, which includes the Great Enclosure wall, has its very impressive monuments which are only beaten out with impressiveness by the Egyptian pyramids (Manu, 2004). Furthermore, an extensive trading network formed through this region, and during the Medieval period, this was very important. The main focus of trade was on gold, copper, tin, cattle, and cowrie shells. This area was also important politically. For around 350 years, the civilization would be ruled by powerful rulers. The civilization was probably made up of around 18,000 inhabitants (Manu, 2004).
In 350 AD Shona-speaking farmers settled in the region. They had migrated into the area to avoid the annoying tsetse flies, which can cause the deaths of not only people, but cattle as well through the disease known as sleeping sickness (Manu, 2004). The flies did not make appearances at such high altitudes, so the farmers were able to farm their cattle. At the end of the 11th century, the civilization began to develop (Manu, 2004). Intensified trading activities helped the civilization to expand. However, the civilization was not to last forever. It was abandoned around 1450 AD for reasons still unknown to historians today (Manu, 2004). There has been much speculation about this. It is known that the people left and started the northern kingdom of Monomotapa, as well as other states. Some historians have speculated that the fall could have been attributed to the population depleting land sources, over-farming, or perhaps a drastic weather change that could have hurt the trade market. Still, further research in this area is needed (Manu, 2004).
The Bantu people began to migrate from the Congo or Niger Delta Basin. Their migration is so impressive because it is actually one of the largest ever seen in history. This incredible movement started at around 1000 AD and continued through 1800 AD (Nalubwama, 2009). However, historians are still unsure of why the movements happened in the first place. Therefore, there has been much speculation and theory for how and why this began. One theory given reflected on the concept that overpopulation may have inspired some groups of people to move into a different area, looking for areas and land to farm. Another ...
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