Great Zimbabwe civilization start AND END

  The great Zimbabwe civilization start around 11 AD by Shona farmers. Orginally Iron Age farmers, the shona arrived on the Zimbabwean plateau in about the 10th centuery. developed asophisticated civillization, building dry-wall enclosures as palaces for their kings and chiefs. The shona may have built as many as 200 remains of their palaces stretch. The Shona start building their enclosures in the late 11 AD.
     Great Zimbabwe declined and was abandoned around 1450 AD for unknown reasons. BY 1500 the Shona kings had left Great Zimbabwe and moved their capital northward to a site on the Zimbezi River
  • The Zimbabwe site, featuring the Great Enclosure wall, is one of the most astounding regions with monuments in Africa, second only to the Nile Valley pyramid region. 

The ancient plan of Great Zimbabwe is in two parts: the hill complex and the valley complexes.  The hill complex is where the king kept many of his treasures.   Although he lived in the Imba Huru (or Great Enclosure) in the valley, he spent considerable ritual time on the hill.  Several important enclosures exist within the hill complex.  The principles ones are the ritual enclosure, the smelting enclosure and the iron-keeping enclosure. 


The valley complexes are dominated by the Imba Huru.  The height of the main wall of the Imba Huru is about 32 feet, it is 800 feet long, and utilizes an amazing 15,000 tons of granite blocks.  The impressive blocks were constructed without mortar.  The building of this complex took skill, determination and industry, and thus the Imba Huru demonstrates a high level of administrative and social achievement by bringing together stone masons and other workers on a grand scale.


  • The extensive trading network made Great Zimbabwe one of the most significant trading regions during the Medieval period.  The main trading items were gold, iron, copper, tin, cattle, and also cowrie shells.  Imported items included glassware from Syria, a minted coin from Kilwa, Tanzania, and Persian & Chinese ceramics from the 13-14th centuries. 

  • Great Zimbabwe was an important commercial and political center.  In addition to being in the heart of an extensive commercial and trading network, the site was the center of a powerful political kingdom, which was under a central ruler for about 350 years (1100–1450 AD).  The site is estimated to have contained perhaps 18,000 inhabitants, making it one of the largest cities of its day.  .