Arts

Mapungubwe

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Mapungubwe

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Mapungubwe World Heritage Site

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Mapungubwe

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Mapungubwe Means hill of the jackal ')

King of an advanced Black Tribe Lived on top of this Hill till 13 th Century

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Mapungubwe

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Traded Gold and Ivory with India China and Egypt

Made Gold Ornaments and Jewellery Excavations found Beads from India And Pottery from China

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Discovering Mapungubwe

After the discovery of gold in SA prospectors found gold fragments on both sides of the Limpopo from Late 1800’s Many people heard stories of a holy site of great wealth. Explorer Francois Lotrie disovered the hill in 1890. Site was rediscovered by ESJ Van Graan 31 st December 1932 Local man Mowena showed him the hill Van Graan and son found stone walls, gold and iron artifacts, pottery and gold and glass beads.

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University of Pretoria called in to investigate

Professor Leo Fouche started excavating in 1933. Continued till 1947. Pretoria University negotiated with E.E . Collins to take ownership of the artifacts and excavation. The University with help of the Government stopped planed prospecting’ The two key archaeological sites bought by University.

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Mapungubwe Hill 300 M long Steep Sides 2000 tons of Soil Carried up Steep Sides on to top. Unknown ancient people .

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Archaeological Findings

Numerous remnants of buildings found on hill Dwellings often built on top of earlier dwellings. Several generations of people had lived there. Carbon dating showed first dwellings built around 1045 Adjacent site Bambadyanalo older. Assumption over crowding caused some people to move to Mapungubwe in 1045. Is likely older settlements also in the area.

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More Archaeological Findings

Royalty and Nobility on top of the Hill. Signs of Gold Smelting and Iron Smelting. 7503 ounces of gold artefacts found on top of hill. K2 site ,6km away were subsistence farmers. Structured Class system By the 1400’s all people moved.

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More Archaeological Findings K2

K2 farmers also skilled craftsmen. Produced thousands glass beads, glass heads, tools, jewellery and figurines. Ate a vast and healthy diet. Gold decorative sheets made. Beads had holes drilled in them. All artefacts made from local materials. Bangles and geometric patterned jewellery was made . Thousands gold beads found in graves and much pottery some from China. Local pottery also made.

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Re-dating of Chinese celadon shards excavated on Mapungubwe Hill, a 13thcentury Iron Age site in South Africa, using Raman spectroscopy, XRFand XRD. Joint project of Tukkies , Oxford University and Mapungubwe Museum. June 2005

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Chinese celadon shards of the Longquan type, believed to date from the Southern Song dynasty (1127 – 1279AD), were excavated in 1934 on Mapungubwe Hill. Some shards, indicated a higher firing temperature than expected for the relatively calcium-rich Longquanglazes of the Southern Song dynasty. XRF analysis ofthe glaze and XRD measurements of the bulk of these shards supported the view and date the shards to possibly the Yuan (1279 – 1368AD) or even early Ming(1368 – 1644AD) dynasties. These results have an impact on the chronology of the history of the region.

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The skeleton labelled number 14 (female) was buried with at least 100 gold wire bangles around her ankles and there were at least one thousand gold beads in her grave. The last gold burial (male), who was most probably the king, was buried with a headrest and three objects made of gold foil tacked onto a wooden core, depicting a bowl, scepter and rhino. At least two more rhinos were in the sample, but their association with a specific grave is unknown.

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What happened to these people Some theories suggested

Area became dryer and colder. Now persistent droughts common. From early 1300 till mid 20 th Century was a mini ice age. Glaciers grew in this period in Europe. Minerals running out. Not a warrior people so perhaps invaded. Probably Split and some started Zimbabwe Ruins.

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Still lot to be found out

Over 400 Archaeological sites in Mapungubwe Area Some date back a million years Signs of Early, Middle and Late Stone ages Iron age sites Must be earlier settlements of Mapungubwe people Concentrated around Confluence of Shashe and Limpopo Rivers. Was strong trade with East Africa and Far East in Ivory and Gold using River as navigation by Arab traders.

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First drive down a mountain in a four by four then walk

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Only 144 Stairs

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Visitors Centre , Museum , Restaurant at Mapungubwe Gate

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This is not a tree

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SA Spinghare Kan O Travel speed (m s- ) Photo Cred: University of Pretoria

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Good Bye Keep Safe Wear Masks Wash your Hands Social Distance I have more videos on Mapungubwe Need information on U3A or Rotary Or More on Mapungubwe Please write to me douggard1943@gmail.com