Today we go in search of the unknown! In the current country of Zimbabwe, in southern Africa are the remains of an ancient city: Great Zimbabwe. In it it is said that the Monomatapa Empire inhabited. Are you ready to find out more? We tell you some of the curiosities and legends of Great Zimbabwe.
What was the Monomotapa Empire?
The Monomotapa Empire was a kingdom that existed between Zimbabwe and Mozambique between 1430 and 1629. It was a very commercial civilization, exporting gold to the port of Sofala and along the delta of the Zambezi River to exchange it for cloth.
During the existence of this civilization, its members settled in a citadel called Great Zimbabwe. The gold came to her and the ships departed from her to make the exchanges.
Legends of Great Zimbabwe
1. What does your name mean?
Great Zimbabwe means “stone houses” and refers to the ruins of the ancient city occupied by the Monomotapa Empire. They extend over 150 km² of extension.
There are three theories as to why it was decided to name the city that way. Each of them comes from a different dialect of the area, so it is debated which of them could be the one that gave rise to the word. These three dialects are Karanga, Zezuru and Shona, which is the original language of the area.
2. Why did they disappear?
Before Portugal took control, in 1500 the place was uninhabited. The question is, why did it happen? But perhaps most disturbingly, no one seemed to remember the Empire’s existence. Suddenly, Great Zimbabwe was a ghost town.
Although it is not known why they disappeared. It could be due to droughts, diseases or the need to look for a better future, since the gold reserves were depleted. They were neither wars nor any violent reason, since there are no signs of violence in the remains of the city.
3. Here one of the symbols of the country is located
In many places in the remains of the city a symbol of a bird has been found. Today it is part of the country’s flag and is one of the main symbols. It is thought that the Zimbabwe bird may have been the bird of God, with which the inhabitants tried to communicate when they decided to move in search of the future.
4. Architecture without cement and giants
Another of the legends of Great Zimbabwe refers to the authorship of the constructions. There are those who think that they could be, of course, the inhabitants of the Empire, and others who think that they were white people. That is, Europeans.
If it is not striking enough that the buildings are made of stone and without cement, there is something that borders on the impossible. The walls of the citadel measure about nine meters, as well as the gates and the rest of the buildings. This leads some to think that a race of giants may have lived in this place. Will this question ever be solved?
5. Great Zimbabwe, the cradle of King Solomon’s mines
Perhaps the last of the Great Zimbabwe legends is the most curious. The Europeans, realizing the power that the inhabitants of the empire had, came to think that the mines of King Solomon could be found in the region of Zimbabwe.
The Bible refers to King Solomon as a Jewish king who brought wealth to his people through huge gold mines. It is currently unknown whether or not they existed and, if they exist, where they were located. So far, there is evidence of some copper mines, but not gold. Perhaps those mines were under the control of the Monomotapa Empire?
Great Zimbabwe is the birthplace of one of the most mysterious kingdoms in the world, as it held power but disappeared. Where did the gold come from? What happened to its inhabitants? Why doesn’t anyone remember them? They are unknowns yet to be discovered.