The Lost African Metropolis of Mapungubwe is about the ancient African Kingdom that was on the northern border of South Africa. It was in the Limpopop Valley, and this valley divides Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Many clues are still buried in the ground, and these clues can tell the story of the Mapungubwe Metropolis. It was the largest known settlement in Africa.
Mapungubwe was concealed on a hill but it was a powerful kingdom. It means Place of the Jackal or Place of the Stone. In 1933, farmers discovered the riches of the people. The artifacts that were found are stored in a museum, unseen by the public. This valley was the home of the first cattle settlement. 800 years ago, the people buried their last king. A new king was elected in his place. His grave lies peacefully on top of the hill.
Mapungubwe is home to the king. The people hauled sand up the hills to level out the mountain. The Mapungubwe valley was the first site where cotton was grown. The soil conditions and the rainfall amounts help provide for the farmers. These conditions lead to the rise of Mapungubwe. Seafarers were attracted to the coast and they would eventually make their way to the coast. The Mapungubwe coast was the hub for trading. This trading contributed to the rise of Mapungubwe.
The Mapungubwe king controlled as much territory as the Zulu king. He lived on top of a hill. However, as the resources became exhausted. They looked to the interior for more resources. Trading made the site of Mapungubwe expand.
Schroder, one of the hills was home to the first cattle settlement. Cattle were used to barter, even today. Eventually, the residents started trading in beads. Beads were in high demand. In 1000 AD another settlement sprung up, it was known as K2. They were conquerors and they started crafting their glass beads. These conquerors stored up wealth and tried to keep glass beads exclusive to their higher classes. Trade activities went up and now gold was introduced. Cattle were no longer an indicator of wealth and were pushed to the side.
Commoners and the elite lived side by side, however, this would have to change and the elites moved up and lived on hills. This would lead the king to be separated from the people and this separation would show that the King was close to his ancestors. The commoners gathered into a court. The King was separated from his people, but his brother lived closer to the court and would be closer to the people.
It was a difficult path to get to the king. He lived on the hill with his wives and advisors. You would have to zig-zag to climb up the hill to either pay tribute or bring supplies to the king and his court. If the king sneezed, the whole kingdom knew about it.
The demand for gold grew and it made the king wealthy. Gold was transformed into an internal value to the people. It was a challenge to get to the gold. Only one person at a time could go down the mine shafts to get gold. It would be then brought up to the surface where it would be worked by the metalworkers. These metal workers were skilled in iron and now turned their craft to craft gold. These gold objects were a mark of a great civilization. Continue to watch this documentary to learn more about Mapungubwe.
This is an older documentary on Mapungubwe. This documentary would be good for a college history class or a class on archeology. There are brief scenes of nudity in this documentary, so I would not recommend it for a private school or a regular high school.
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