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Masvingo Attractions

Visit Great Zimbabwe - a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from approximately 1100 to 1400 during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an area of 722 hectares (1,784 acres) and at its peak could have housed up to 18,000 people. 


Great Zimbabwe acted as a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch and would have been used as the seat of their political power. One of its most prominent features were its walls, some of which were over five metres high and which were constructed without mortar. Eventually the city was largely abandoned and fell into ruin. The most important artifacts recovered from the Monument are the eight Zimbabwe Birds. These were carved from a micaceous schist (soapstone) on the tops of monoliths the height of a person. 


Archaeological evidence suggests that Great Zimbabwe became a centre for trading, with artifacts suggesting that the city formed part of a trade network linked to Kilwa and extending as far as China. This international trade was mainly in gold and ivory; some estimates indicate that more than 20 million ounces of gold were extracted from the ground.


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