Great Zimbabwe slides ppt 2013

What is it?
• The largest stone structure in Africa south
of the pyramids
• The site of an African civilization dating
back nearly 1,000 years ago
Where is it?
• Great Zimbabwe spanned roughly 1,800
acres, or 2.88 square miles
• It is found in the area of the Zambezi and
the Limpopo Rivers
How was it built?
• Granite was stacked without the use or
• 15 ,000 tons of granite blocks were used to
construct this city
• The name comes from a combination of
Shona words that mean “stone house or
stone dwelling”
Who lived there?
• Great Zimbabwe’s “Great Enclosure”
housed the king.
• There were 18,000 people living in this city
at its height
Great Zimbabwe
Historians believe that while people were
inhabiting the region for nearly 800 years
before, building the actual structure began
in the 1100s.
Great Zimbabwe was a center of trade
*Glass beads from Arabs
*Porcelain from China
*Ceramics from Persia
*Gold that probably originated in GZ
*Coins from other African civilizations
Life in Great Zimbabwe:
*King controlled trade, travel, and taxes
*Citizens farmed in the areas outside the
walls but lived inside them
*Famers and other citizens lived in multistory clay buildings – interconnected—urban
Life in Great Zimbabwe:
*Spirit Medium
*Conducted ceremonies
*Helped to choose leader
Life in Great Zimbabwe:
*Spirit Medium
*Conducted ceremonies
*Helped to choose leader
This kingdom flourished until roughly 1450,
when historians speculate that people
abandoned the site.
*lack of arable land (and grazing land)
*lack of clean water
*(thus causing emigration)
Why don’t we know more?
*No written language
*Looted by European explorers
the restored entrance gate
wall with decorative top trim
See the people for scale.
a reconstructed cooking pit