1. The rise and fall of the empires such as Mapungubwe, The Carthage.The Great Zimbabwe and Sudan in Africa.
Prospectors and treasure hunters flocked to the Limpopo River valley after gold was discovered in stone ruins north of the river in the 1890s. Mapungubwe's ruins were discovered in 1932. Following excavations, a court was discovered at the bottom of the hill, hidden in a natural amphitheater, and an exclusive graveyard at the top, with a superb perspective of the region. A total of 23 tombs have been discovered on this mountaintop. Three of these burials had bodies buried in the upright seated position associated with royalty, along with gold and copper objects, exotic glass beads, and other prominent objects. These discoveries show not just the early smithing of gold in southern Africa, but also the Mapungubwe people's considerable wealth and social distinction. A gold foil rhinoceros poured over a delicate core of sculpted wood is the most stunning of these treasures.
The city grew in part as a result of its proximity to the Limpopo River, which provided trade links between the region and the ports of Kilwa and other locations along the Indian Ocean. This new trade was grafted onto centuries-old regional networks that had previously carried salt, livestock, fish, metals, chert, ostrich-eggshell jewelry, and other goods. Mapungubwe is the first known site in southern Africa where leaders and followers were segregated spatially, indicating the emergence of a class-based society. The wealthy and privileged elite's homes, diets, and elaborate graves stand in stark contrast to the commoners who lived at the foot of Mapungubwe and the adjacent plateau.
Mapungubwe's reign as a capital was brief, lasting just from 1290 until 1300. Its collapse was linked to drastic climate changes, which made the area colder and drier. During the decline of Mapungubwe, Great Zimbabwe began to gain prominence. In 2003, Mapungubwe was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is now part of Mapungubwe National Park. The majority of the objects discovered at the site are stored in the University of Pretoria's Mapungubwe Museum.
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