World History - Zimbabwe

World History - Zimbabwe - at Great Zimbabwe include a...

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2/2/06 Per. 1 Mr. Kuhns In the south central African nation of Zimbabwe are the ruins of monuments and cities built of stone. These ruins are almost as great as the entire nation of France. They are believed to have been built by southern Africans about 600-1,000 years ago. Up until recent years, the ruins were believed by Western historians to be the remains of a "mysterious white race" in the heart of Africa. Now it is accepted that the ruins of Great Zimbabwe reflect the culture of the Shona peoples, a Bantu speaking ethnic group, who reside in the region today. The name Zimbabwe comes from the Shona. Roughly translated it can mean "Houses of Stone" and are associated with ruler ship. They are also called the Mwenemutapa. In the 12 th century, there were many changes in Great Zimbabwe. These changes were building of stone walls and the import of glass beads. They brought iron- smelting and agriculture with them to the region south of the Zambezi River. Items found
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Unformatted text preview: at Great Zimbabwe include a glazed Persian bowl from the 13th or 14th century, Chinese celadon dishes, shreds from a Chinese stoneware vessel, and fragments of engraved and painted Near Eastern glass. An important trade item was copper and gold. Zimbabwe was rich in gold. The growing trade encouraged the Zimbabweans to centralize their government which was originally ruled by ruler-priests. The Zimbabweans made a military and economic kingship of amazing power and efficiency. At its height, Great Zimbabwe is estimated to have had a population greater than 15,000, although the majority lived at some distance from the large stone buildings. Only 200 to 300 members of the elite classes are thought to have lived within Great Zimbabwe's massive edifices. The decline of Great Zimbabwe began with the rise of the Rozwi Empire under a ruler named Mwene Mutapa....
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