With an economy based on cattle husbandry, crop cultivation, and the trade of gold on the coast of the Indian Ocean, Great Zimbabwe was the heart of a thriving trading empire from the 11th to the 15th centuries. The word zimbabwe, the countrys namesake, is a Shona (Bantu) word meaning “stone houses.”
What was Great Zimbabwe best known for?
Great Zimbabwe was a medieval African city known for its large circular wall and tower. It was part of a wealthy African trading empire that controlled much of the East African coast from the 11th to the 15th centuries C.E.
Why is Great Zimbabwe a tourist attraction?
It is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Great Zimbabwe served as a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch and would have been used as the seat of political power. One of its most prominent features were the walls, some of which were over five metres high and which were constructed without mortar.
What caused the fall of Great Zimbabwe?
There are several theories about the decline of Great Zimbabwe. One is environmental: that a combination of overgrazing and drought caused the soil on the Zimbabwe Plateau to become exhausted. It is estimated that between 5,000 to 30,000 people lived on and around the site.