Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Great Zimbabwe Was Built

More on the subject of who built Zimbabwe and also, how the great stone monument was built. There is a lot of literature on this subject written by African authors. In my opinion Aeneas Chigwedere and the late David Beach (a white Zimbabwean), are the best authorities on this subject. You can also add Innocent Pikirayi, Stan Mudenge and Pathisa Nyathi. Below is an extract from Pathisa Nyathi's book, "Zimbabwe's Cultural Heritage", where he himself relates a conversation he had with Prof. Ken Mufuka on how Great Zimbabwe was built.
He says, "The Shona are renowned for their stone architecture. Stoned walled structures are found in several parts of Zimbabwe (Khami, Danamomombe, Dzimbahwe), as well as in Northern South Africa." He then goes on to retell a conversation he had with Prof Ken Mufuka on how the stone structures were actually built. "Great Zimbabwe was built of granite, which was found in abundance in the area (present-day Masvingo Province). Construction was done off-season, and no slave-labour was used. Tributary chiefs sent their subjects to undertake construction work. Granite blocks were obtained by applying fire to the stone and then pouring cold water onto the hot rock. The sudden cooling and contraction caused the rock to split. Rocks so obtained were then chiselled into rectangular blocks."

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