Source: Leo Fouche, Mapungubwe: Ancient Bantu

The modern day story of Mapungubwe
How it was found
Photos of the artifacts found
Importance as a part of history
Heritage site photographs
Mapungubwe Hill
The main access to Mapungubwe
Hill was via this narrow cleft
Mapungubwe period stone walling on the
Southern Terrace
The story of Mapungubwe began long ago
Masses of gold bangles were found round the arms and legs of the
skeleton. Heavy coils of iron bangles round one leg had rusted to a
solid mass, in which gold and glass spacing beads could be
distinguished. The arms and neck had been surrounded by great
numbers of gold wire bangles… . Where the skull had lain were
found pieces of curiously shaped gold plate, the convolutions of
which suggest they had adorned the wooden headrest of the corpse.
A bowl of gold plate … was found, together with a gold plate bangle
and a gold circlet and sheath or point, which probably ornamented a
staff of office.
Source: Leo Fouche, Mapungubwe: Ancient Bantu Civilization on the
Limpopo. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1937, p.2.
Glass beads brought to
Mapungubwe from India
through trade on the eastern
coast of Africa were melted
down and made into larger
beads using baked clay
Fragments of Chinese celadon
from the Sung Dynasty (960-1279
AD) were found at Mapungubwe.
They are placed here next to a
whole celadon wine kettle from a
Significance of Mapungubwe
The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape was the centre of the
first kingdom in southern Africa established by the cultural
ancestors of the present-day Shona and Venda.
It includes more than 400 archaeological sites and the three
successive capitals of Schroda, K2 and Mapungubwe, occupied
between 900 and 1300 AD.
This period laid the foundation for a new type of social
organisation in Southern Africa.
National heritage site
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