African Art the Trade Center/Royal Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1225 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - African


Although this has all been proven false by more recent archeological investigations, it is a telling history of Britain's attempt to take indigenous peoples out of the historical mix.

The people who built the Great Zimbabwe lived at the site and built it up from approximately 1100-1450 AD (Ampim). It is divided, primarily, into two different areas. These are the Hill enclosures and those in the valley. It is believed by many that the hill enclosures were the first seats of the kings, but they eventually moved to the Great Enclosure which is in the valley. This is a picture looking down on the valley enclosure.

The Great enclosure iint he valley is also thought to have housed the harem of the king (Tyson) as the hill enclosures are thought to be the seat of religious importance and where the foundry and iron smelting took place.

Another function of the area besides ruling the people of the region was to provide trade for those who came from different areas of the world to visit. It is not known if the city itself had traders that went to the far reaches of the East or if they received traders, probably a little bit of both, but there have been some interesting articles found at the site. Trade relates that "Celedon pottery from early in the period of the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1384-1644) is one of the most frequent imports found at Great Zimbabwe," and others have seen goods from other parts of the world.

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However, most of the artifacts that have been found in the area are from local artisans. These are more difficult to date (Trade) and they make it more difficult to find out exactly when events occurred at the site. Some have been noted though for their religious significance. This picture shows a soapstone bird, which is thought to be a religious symbol. Most of these types of artifacts are found in the hill enclosures, but there have been some found along the outer wall of the Great Enclosure.

TOPIC: Term Paper on African Art the Trade Center/Royal Assignment

It is difficult to estimate the importance of the site to the people of the region. Because the zimbabwe's are unique in both their construction and mysterious purpose, they have a kind of mystical presence and provide a great deal of pride for the people of Zimbabwe (Ampim). The Shona-speaking residents of the country understand that they have occupied the region for a long time and that their history is tied up in the massive construction project. Their people first came to the region as farmers seeking higher elevations to avoid the deadly tsetse flies that killed them and their livestock (Ampim). It is believed by many that they eventually developed the technology to build the enclosures and that they also started trading with partners in a much wider circle than previously (Ampim). This meant that they needed the buildings to house the trade and the traders. The pride that the modern day people have for this history is evident in the fact that the site is now carefully guarded.

The site is a UNESCO heritage site (one of many that have great enough significance that they are recognized as foundational study sites by archeologists and anthropologists), and it has also gained international protection from other bodies. It is foundational because it tells of a time in history when the Shona-speaking peoples were an important trading and cultural stop in the heart of south central Africa.

Works Cited

Ampim, Manu. "Great Zimbabwe: A History Almost Forgotten." G.O.D. Collective, 2004. Web.

Trade, Zim. "The Great Zimbabwe." Virtual Zimbabwe, 2001. Web.

Tyson, Peter. "Mysteries of the Great Zimbabwe."… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "African Art the Trade Center/Royal" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

African Art the Trade Center/Royal.  (2012, November 4).  Retrieved September 28, 2021, from

MLA Format

"African Art the Trade Center/Royal."  4 November 2012.  Web.  28 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"African Art the Trade Center/Royal."  November 4, 2012.  Accessed September 28, 2021.