Great Zimbabwe (Digging for the Past) by Martin Hall

By Martin Hall

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Some scholars think changes in the Indian Ocean trade may have caused the shift. Ivory had been Mapungubwe's main export and source of wealth, but evidence recovered from burials and trade ports suggests that the demand for gold began to grow. Ivory remained valuable, but gold was increasingly prized. The best sources of gold lay in the hills of the Zimbabwe Plateau, and Great Zimbabwe was closer to them than Mapungubwe. Mapungubwe began to decline as Great Zimbabwe's fortunes rose. Great Zimbabwe was not an isolated urban center.

London: Thames and Hudson, 1973. Life at Great Zimbabwe. Gweru, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press, 1982. Garner, David. " Geographical Magazine, August 1996, 40-41. Huffman, Thomas N. Symbols in Stone: Unravelling the Mystery of Great Zimbabwe. Johannesburg, South Africa: University of Witwatersrand Press, 1987. Mapungubwe: Ancient African Civilisations of the Limpopo. Johannesburg, South Africa: Wits University Press, 2005. Martin, David. Great Zimbabwe: Houses of Stone. Harare, Zimbabwe: African Publishing Group, 1998.

The best sources of gold lay in the hills of the Zimbabwe Plateau, and Great Zimbabwe was closer to them than Mapungubwe. Mapungubwe began to decline as Great Zimbabwe's fortunes rose. Great Zimbabwe was not an isolated urban center. It was the largest of 3 0 or 40 regional centers scattered across the plateau from the Kalahari Desert in the west and to the Indian Ocean lowlands in the east. Most of these centers shared Great Found in the ruins of Mapungubwe, the kingdom that dominated the Limpopo River valley before Great Zimbabwe, this golden rhinoceros was most likely an emblem of royal power.

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