2011
07.25

Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe!

ZIMBABWE RUINS

On to the Great Zimbabwe ruins, the ancient site where the nation took its name from – changing it from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.

The name is believed to have come from Shona origins meaning ‘great stone houses’.

These important ruins date back from the 11th-15th century, making them the oldest ruins in Southern Africa and also the 3rd largest pre-historical site listed by UNESCO, behind the Great wall of China and the pyramids of Egypt.

Built entirely from stone, the city is believed to have once housed up to 25,000 people, until in the 15th century the king and his people left the site in search of better pastures.

The Hill complex was a series of royal and ritual enclosures and our guide shows us amongst manyother things, where the king sunbaked and called for one of his 200 wives living below in the great enclosure.

The Great enclosure, thought to have served as a royal compound is 100m wide and 255m in circumference. Its walls made entirely of brick without mortar or cement, rise 11m and up to 5m thick. Inside is the 70m long parallel passage and 10m high conical tower.


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