Named after the immense granite complex that served as its center of power, Great Zimbabwe was ruled by a hereditary monarchy of Shona elite who reached the peak of their power and influence in the mid-fifteenth century.
Who ruled the Great Zimbabwe?
In approximately 1430 Prince Nyatsimba Mutota from the Great Zimbabwe travelled north to the Dande region in search of salt. He then defeated the Tonga and Tavara with his army and established his dynasty at Chitakochangonya Hill. The land he conquered would become the Kingdom of Mutapa.
What was the purpose of the Great Zimbabwe?
It is recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Great Zimbabwe is believed to have served as a royal palace for the local monarch. As such, it would have been used as the seat of political power. Among the edifice’s most prominent features were its walls, some of which are eleven metres high.
How did the Great Zimbabwe gain power?
By 1200 C.E., the city had grown strong, and was well known as an important religious and trading center. Some believe that religion triggered the city’s rise to power, and that the tall tower was used for worship. The people of Great Zimbabwe most likely worshipped Mwari, the supreme god in the Shona religion.
How did Great Zimbabwe change over time?
Its growth has been linked to the decline of Mapungubwe from around 1300, due to climatic change or the greater availability of gold in the hinterland of Great Zimbabwe. … Within a generation, Mutapa eclipsed Great Zimbabwe. By 1450, the capital and most of the kingdom had been abandoned.
What made Great Zimbabwe rich?
The wealth of Great Zimbabwe lay in cattle production and gold. … One theory is that the rulers of Great Zimbabwe did not have direct control over the gold mines, but rather managed the trade in it, buying up huge quantities in exchange for cattle.
Can Great Zimbabwe be built on hills?
The stone constructions of Great Zimbabwe can be categorized into roughly three areas: the Hill Ruin (on a rocky hilltop), the Great Enclosure, and the Valley Ruins (map below).
What was life like in Great Zimbabwe?
At its largest Great Zimbabwe had a population of between 10 000 and 20 000 people. Most of them lived far away from the main stone buildings, with only 200 to 300 royals and advisers living inside the main city, which was the centre of their society.
What does the word Zimbabwe mean?
The word zimbabwe, the country’s namesake, is a Shona (Bantu) word meaning “stone houses.” Ruins of the royal palace at Great Zimbabwe, southeastern Zimbabwe.
What does Zimbabwe mean in Shona?
Many sources hold that “Zimbabwe” derives from dzimba-dza-mabwe, translated from the Karanga dialect of Shona as “houses of stones” (dzimba = plural of imba, “house”; mabwe = plural of bwe, “stone”). The Karanga-speaking Shona people live around Great Zimbabwe in the modern-day province of Masvingo.
Who Built Great Zimbabwe and why?
Begun during the eleventh century A.D. by Bantu-speaking ancestors of the Shona, Great Zimbabwe was constructed and expanded for more than 300 years in a local style that eschewed rectilinearity for flowing curves.