The Mystery of Great Zimbabwe

Throughout the ages, whispered reports of the Queen of Sheba’s stone palace were passed from sailor to sailor through the Portuguese ports. The later discovery of the ruins labelled Great Zimbabwe and their subsequent excavation has resulted in a wider respect for African sites. Moreover, the grave inaccuracies and miscalculations that took place in the excavation of Great Zimbabwe, has shocked the world into the realisation that prejudices and bigotry can be detrimental to the development of historical and archaeological knowledge.
The great stone ruins werefirst uncovered by Portuguese traders in the 16th Century. Sailors continued to visit the site, declaring it to be the remnants of the Queen of Sheba’s palace. For nearly 400 years romantic speculation as to the true heritage of the mysterious stonewalls was passed from word of mouth until it reached the coastal trading ports of Mozambique. In 1552, Joao de Barros wrote ofa square fortress, masonry within and without, built of stones of marvellous size and there appears to be no mortar joining them?. The actualdiscovery? of the site was in 1871, by Carl Mauch a young German who had heard the fabled tales of the Queen of Sheba’s palace, and was eager to substantiate the tales. He visited a lone German trader who told him ofquite large ruins which could never have been built by blacks? and, on September 5th local Karanga tribesmen led Mauch to the site.
The immense stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe are located in the southeast of the African country of Zimbabwe, which, interestingly enough, took its name from the site after gaining independence from Great Britain in 1980.When Mauch viewed the sitefirsthand, the impressive stonewalls aroused much interest in the site, and their immense and almost impossible construction added credence to the myth that the site was the work of foreigners. Mauch uncovered a series of soapstone and iron relics, which therefore provided concrete ev…