Great Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe

The ruins can be broken down into three distinct architectural groups. They are known as the Hill Complex, the Valley Complex and the famous Great Enclosure. Over 300 structures have been located so far in the Great Enclosure. The type of stone structures found on the site give an indication of the status of the citizenry. Structures that were more elaborate were built for the kings and situated further away from the center of the city. It is thought that this was done in order to escape sleeping sickness.What little evidence exists suggests that Great Zimbabwe also became a centre for tradin

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Discussion on Great Zimbabwe

erieau2 :

If Great zimbabwe was so rich and advanced for its time, how come they didn't raise an army and march to the west coast of Africa to conquer the lands and create a mre efficent way of getting to the city of Great Zimbabwe. Please state your source. i meant to say a march to the east coast to get in closer to the Indian Ocean trade

bestfriend_656 :
"they just wanted to stay in there own place. they were tranquil people. you know the great wall? it was said to be used for privacy and showing of wealth more than protection."
LaLaLa69 :

What are some of the arts(literature, music, art, and architecture) of Great Zimbabwe?

ari :
"Explore these: Tom Chamber's Quite an experience in Zimbabwe Architecture Pre-Colonial Architecture: Great Zimbabwe Colonial Architecture: Columns and White Walls Since Independence: Modern and Postmodern Architecture Overview Sculpture in Stone and Wood Introduction Chapungu Sculpture Park Handelsman Sculpture Park Sculpture Overview Monumental sculpture: Heroes Acre Discussions of Zimbabwean Sculpture and Literature Film and Video The Post-Independence Development of Film in Zimbabwe Ceramics Painting Rock and Cave Paintings Paintings of the Weya Women Mpofu Website in South Africa Weaving and other Fabric Arts ** Stone Ruins The ruins of this complex of massive stone walls undulate across almost 1,800 acres of present-day southeastern Zimbabwe. 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. Neither the first nor the last of some 300 similar complexes located on the Zimbabwean plateau, Great Zimbabwe is set apart by the terrific scale of its structure. Its most formidable edifice, commonly referred to as the Great Enclosure, has walls as high as 36 feet extending approximately 820 feet, making it the largest ancient structure south of the Sahara Desert. In the 1800s, European travelers and English colonizers, stunned by Great Zimbabwe's its grandeur and cunning workmanship, attributed the architecture to foreign powers. Such attributions were dismissed when archaeological investigations conducted during the first decades of the twentieth century confirmed both the antiquity of the site and its African origins. Great Zimbabwe's most enduring and impressive remains are its stone walls. These walls were constructed from granite blocks gathered from the exposed rock of the surrounding hills. Since this rock naturally splits into even slabs and can be broken into portable sizes, it provided a convenient and readily available building resource. All of Great Zimbabwe's walls were fitted without the use of mortar by laying stones one on top of the other, each layer slightly more recessed than the last to produce a stabilizing inward slope. Early examples were coarsely fitted using rough blocks and incorporated features of the landscape such as boulders into the walls. Over the years the technique was refined, and later walls were fitted together closely and evenly over long, serpentine courses to produce remarkably finished surfaces. Great Zimbabwe's Inhabitants Little is known about the Bantu-speaking people who built Great Zimbabwe or how their society was organized. The ruling elite appears to have controlled wealth through the management of cattle, which were the staple diet at Great Zimbabwe. At its height, Great Zimbabwe is estimated to have had a population greater than 10,000, 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 enormous walls are the best-preserved testaments of Great Zimbabwe's past and the largest example of an architectural type seen in archaeological sites throughout the region. The function of these stone walls, however, has often been misinterpreted. At first glance, these massive nonsupportive walls appear purely defensive. But scholars doubt they ever served a martial purpose and have argued instead that cattle and people were valued above land, which was in any event too abundant to be hoarded. The walls are thought to have been a symbolic show of authority, designed to preserve the privacy of royal families and set them apart from and above commoners. It is also important to note that the walls surrounded and later adjoined huts made of daga (mud and thatch), linked with them to form a series of courtyards. Daga was also used to form raised seats in particularly significant courtyards, and was painted to enrich its artistic effect. Since Great Zimbabwe's daga elements have long since eroded, the remaining stone walls provide only partial evidence of the architecture's original appearance. Soapstone Birds In addition to architecture, Great Zimbabwe's most famous works of art are the eight birds carved of soapstone that were found in its ruins. The birds surmount columns more than a yard tall and are themselves on average sixteen inches tall. The sculptures combine both human and avian elements, substituting human features like lips for a beak and five-toed feet for claws. Excavated at the turn of the century, it is known that six of the sculptures came from the Eastern Enclosure of the Hill complex, but unfortunately their precise arrangement can only be surmised. Scholars have suggested that the birds served as emblems of royal authority, perhaps representing the ancestors of Great Zimbabwe's rulers. Although their precise significance is still unknown, these sculptures remain powerful symbols of rule in the modern era, adorning the flag of Zimbabwe as national emblems. ."


Comments on Great Zimbabwe

Date: 2008-02-05 01:56:07

Pakistan is hosting Zimbabwe in the current cricket series. Its going to be a great series with Zimbabwe steadily improving and becoming a solid team, nearly regaining test match status.

Date: 2008-02-05 01:56:07

Great article on censorship.

Date: 2008-02-05 01:56:07

Ian Smith, who led the last settler government in what was then Rhodesia, and is now Zimbabwe, was a man of great physical courage, modesty and historical and political blindness. Smith died last Tuesday at the age of 88.
Date: 2008-02-05 01:56:07

Zimbabwe won against Australia by 5 wickets.It's disapponting to the world chanpions.we can say these is the shocker of the world cup.Australia just scored 138 runs.Australian batsman got out cheapley.and its a great come back for the Zimbabwe team.

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