Zimbabwean History

Zimbabwe (ruined city, Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwe (zĬmbäb´wā) [Bantu,=stone houses], ruined city, SE Zimbabwe, near Masvingo (formerly Fort Victoria). It was discovered by European explorers c.1870, and some believed it the biblical Ophir, where King Solomon had his mines. From 1890 to 1900 some 100,000 gold mining claims were staked out there, but all proved barren. Modern archaeological evidence has shown that Zimbabwe was first occupied by the earliest Iron Age people in the 3d cent. It was abandoned sometime thereafter until it was reoccupied in the late 9th cent. or early 10th cent. The remaining ruins include a massive wall, constructed in the 11th cent., a strong fortress, nearby dwellings, and an elliptically shaped enclosure, commonly called the Temple. The buildings were once richly decorated with stone carvings and gold and copper ornaments. Archaeologists believe that the city was constructed by a local African culture with little outside influence.

See G. Caton-Thompson, The Zimbabwe Culture (1970).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2017, The Columbia University Press.

Zimbabwean History: Selected full-text books and articles

A Predictable Tragedy: Robert Mugabe and the Collapse of Zimbabwe By Daniel Compagnon University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011
Culture and Customs of Zimbabwe By Oyekan Owomoyela Greenwood Press, 2002
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.