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Khami Ruins

Khami Ruins is an extensive complex of stonewalled sites that lies just west of Bulawayo.

It is one of Zimbabwe’s World Heritage Sites and was the capital of the Butua State, its leaders reigning at Khami from about AD 1450 until its fiery destructive around AD 1644. A small site museum provides useful background information to the site itself.




 

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Khami Ruins

Khami was the capital of the Torwa dynasty for about 200 years from around 1450 and appears to have been founded at the time of the disappearance of the state at Great Zimbabwe.

After that (the traditional date is 1683), it was ransacked by Changamire Dombo who led an army of Rozvi rebels from the Mwenemutapa ("Monomotapa") State. Excavations seem to show that the site was not occupied after these Rozvi took over. The Rozvi made another Khami phase site, Danamombe (Dhlo-Dhlo), their new capital. In the 1830s Nguni speaking Ndebele raiders displaced them from Khami and many of the other sites they had established.
The site of Khami reveals seven built-up areas occupied by the royal family with open areas in the valley occupied by the commoners. The complex comprises circular, sometimes terraced, artificial platforms encased by dry stone walls. The beautifully decorated 6m-high by 68m-long retaining wall of the precipice platform bears a checkerboard design along its entire length.


 

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old bulawayo (kobulawayo)

King Mzilikazi Khumalo left Zululand in 1822 and by 1840 had established the Ndebele state in southwestern Zimbabwe. While preserving their language and “Zulu-identity”, the Ndebele people expanded through the incorporation of many other peoples. The state was a multi-ethnic, complex society.

Old Bulawayo was established by King Lobengula as his capital in 1870 after the death of his father King Mzilikazi in 1868. It layout to an extent reflects the complex heritage of the Ndebele people. In 1881, after 11 years of occupation, Lobengula moved his capital what is now the modern city of Bulawayo. He ordered the destruction of the old settlement by fire




 

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matopos hill

The Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 35 kilometres south of Bulawayo, southern Zimbabwe.

The hills were formed over 2 billion years ago with granite being forced to the surface, this has eroded to produce smooth "whaleback dwalas" and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation. Mzilikazi, founder of the Ndebele nation, gave the area its name, meaning 'Bald Heads'






 

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matopos hills

San (Bushmen) lived in the hills about 2,000 years ago, leaving a rich heritage in hundreds of rock paintings. There are over 3,000 registered rock art sites,[ with the main periods of painting being between 320 and 500 C.E.. In the many crevices and caves, clay ovens and other historic artefacts have been found, and various archaeological finds date back as far as the Pre-Middle Stone Age, around 300,000 B.P. The following major sites have been developed for tourist access:

Bambata Cave is also a major archaeological site, located in the west of the national park, north of the game park on the Kezi-Bulawayo road. The frieze includes elephants, giraffes, warthogs, tsessebe and mongoose.[18]
Inanke Cave has the most extensive paintings, located in a remote cave accessible by a three-hour hike from Toghwana Dam. Along the route of the hike is an iron age furnace.[17]

Nswatugi Cave contains beautiful friezes of giraffes, elephants and kudu.[17][
Access is from Circular Drive, west of Maleme Dam
Pomongwe Cave, near Maleme Dam, was damaged by a preservation attempt in 1965, where linseed oil was applied to the paintings.[19] Archaeological digs within and downslop of the cave revealed 39,032 stone tools, several hearths, with the main fire-making areas were in the centre of the cave floor. Bone fragments showed that hyrax formed a major part of the meat component of the diet of early human inhabitants of the cave, which also included tortoise and larger game animals. The oldest material on the site is probably pre-Middle Stone Age.
White Rhino Shelter is a small site near Gordon Park, on the main tarred road through the park. The frieze includes the outline of a large rhinos, which is said to have inspired the re-introduction of the species in the 1960s.[21]
The grandeur and stillness of the hills has contributed to their hallowed reputation, especially to the Shona and Ndebele people. Many rituals and other religious activities are performed in the hills. Before the colonial era, it was the headquarters of the spiritualist oracle, the Mlimo.





 

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Rozvi empire

In 1693, Portuguese militia tried to take control of the gold trade in the interior of sub-saharan Africa by invading the Rozvi empire. The Rozwi were able to successfully defeat these attacks and maintain their control of the gold mines until their empire collapsed. The Rozvi were led by Changamire Dombo whose power was based in Butua in the southwest of sub-Saharan Africa.

The Rozwi were formed from several Shona states that dominated the plateau of present-day Zimbabwe at the time. They drove the Portuguese off the central plateau, and the Europeans retained only a nominal presence at one of the fairs in the eastern highlands.


Changamire brought the whole of present-day Zimbabwe under his control, forming a polity that became known as the Rozwi Empire. This fierce tribe of warriors was to be known as the Rozvi or baLozwi people. They established their capital at Danamombe, also known as Dhlo-Dhlo (the Ndebele name).
Many sources see the Rozvi not as a recovering segment of the Mutapa people, but in fact a people in its own right emerging under the wing of the Mutapa.

The administrative power of the Mutapa began to fail to control the whole empire, and tributaries began to exert more independence.
A leader of the people of guruuswa, given the title Changamire and known as Dombo, became independent from the Mutapa. When the Portuguese tried to colonise, Changamire Dombo led rebellions against their rule. The area of the Rozwi empire fluctuated. Its influence extended over much of present-day Zimbabwe, westward into Botswana, and southward into northeastern South Africa.

Many tales identify Dombo ('Rock') as Chikura Wayembeu. Modern scholars agree that this was a confusion with another leader of a different people In 1693, Portuguese militia tried to take control of the gold trade in the interior of sub-saharan Africa by invading the Rozvi empire. The Rozwi were able to successfully defeat these attacks and maintain their control of the gold mines until their empire collapsed. The Rozvi were led by Changamire Dombo,[1] whose power was based in Butua in the southwest of sub-Saharan Africa. The Rozwi were formed from several Shona states that dominated the plateau of present-day Zimbabwe at the time. They drove the Portuguese off the central plateau, and the Europeans retained only a nominal presence at one of the fairs in the eastern highlands.
Changamire brought the whole of present-day Zimbabwe under his control, forming a polity that became known as the Rozwi Empire. This fierce tribe of warriors was to be known as the Rozvi or baLozwi people.

They established their capital at Danamombe, also known as Dhlo-Dhlo (the Ndebele name).Many sources see the Rozvi not as a recovering segment of the Mutapa people, but in fact a people in its own right emerging under the wing of the Mutapa (compare the rise of the Khumalo from under the Zulu nation). The administrative power of the Mutapa began to fail to control the whole empire, and tributaries began to exert more independence.

A leader of the people of guruuswa, given the title Changamire and known as Dombo, became independent from the Mutapa. When the Portuguese tried to colonise, Changamire Dombo led rebellions against their rule. The area of the Rozwi empire fluctuated. Its influence extended over much of present-day Zimbabwe, westward into Botswana, and southward into northeastern South Africa.Many tales identify Dombo ('Rock') as Chikura Wayembeu. Modern scholars agree that this was a confusion with another leader of a different people
 

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Rozvi empire capital danamombe

Danamombe (formerly Dhlo-Dhlo or Ndlo Dlo) is a Zimbabwean archaeological site, about eighty kilometres from Gweru, in the direction of Bulawayo and about 35 kilometres south of the highway
the site consists of a ruined town dating from the 17th or 18th centuries AD, and therefore probably occupied just after the abandonment of the site at Khami. The town plan follows a similar layout to Khami but is on a smaller scale. It is therefore a deliberate attempt to sustain the society and culture that had been established at Khami. The most extensive foundations are on the highest ground and it appears that all the dwellings were constructed using walls of wood-reinforced mud, as all traces of these have been lost. The site was destroyed in the 1830s when the Matabele arrived in the area.




 

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naletele ruins

Naletale (or Nalatale) are ruins are located about 25 kilometres east of Shangani in Matabeleland north, Zimbabwe and just north of the Dhlo Dhlo ruins. The ruins are attributed to the Kalanga Torwa State and are thought to date from the seventeenth century.
The primary monument at the site is a colossal wall constructed from stone masonry. It is highly decorated, featuring all of the designs of the Zimbabwe architectural tradition; chevrons, herringbone, chequers, cords and ironstone colored bands. The original wall was topped by plinths. The complex also features the remains of the principal hut. It is assumed that this was the residence of the Torwa king. The site was damaged by early treasure hunters seeking gold but it remains one of the best-preserved and most impressive ancient monuments in Zimbabwe




 
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