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Mapungubwe and the Origins of the Zimbabwe Culture

Thomas N. Huffman
Goodwin Series
Vol. 8, African Naissance: The Limpopo Valley 1000 Years Ago (Dec., 2000), pp. 14-29
DOI: 10.2307/3858043
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3858043
Page Count: 16
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Mapungubwe and the Origins of the Zimbabwe Culture
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Abstract

Class distinction and sacred leadership characterised the Zimbabwe culture, the most complex society in precolonial southern Africa. This complex society evolved between AD 1000 and 1300 at the sites of K2 and Mapungubwe in the Shashe-Limpopo Valley. Tremendous wealth from long distance trade and an increased population stimulated a series of internal transformations involving economy, social organisation, ideology, religion and settlement patterns. The abandonment of Mapungubwe for climatic reasons led to the rise of Great Zimbabwe 250 km to the north-east.

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