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Khami Ruins ------ Great Zimbabwe

         Date: 2012-12-07

           Tag: Khami, Great Zimbabwe

Summary: Khami, which developed after the capital of Great Zimbabwe had been abandoned in the mid-16th century, is of great archaeological interest. The discovery of objects from Europe and China shows that …

Khami, which developed after the capital of Great Zimbabwe had been abandoned in the mid-16th century, is of great archaeological interest. The discovery of objects from Europe and China shows that Khami was a major centre for trade over a long period of time.

Khami Ruins National Monument is located to the west of the Khami River, 22 km from the City of Bulawayo. The property, located on a 1300 m hilltop downstream from a dam built during 1928-1929, covers an area of about 108 ha, spread over a distance of about 2 km from the Passage Ruin to the North Ruin.

Khami Ruins ------ Great Zimbabwe

Khami Ruins ------ Great Zimbabwe

The property was the capital of the Torwa dynasty, which arose from the collapse of the Great Zimbabwe Kingdom between 1450 -1650 and was abandoned during the Ndebele incursions of the 19th century. It is composed of a complex series of platforms of dry-stone walled structures, emulating a later development of Stone Age culture. The chief’s residence (Mambo) was located towards the north on the Hill Ruin site with its adjacent cultivation terraces. The population lived in daga huts of cobwork, surrounded by a series of granite walls. These structures display a high standard of workmanship, a great number of narrow passageways and perambulatory galleries and impressive chevron and chequered wall decorations. Khami conforms to Great Zimbabwe in a number of archaeological and architectural aspects but it possesses certain features particular to itself and its successors such as Danangombe and Zinjanja. Revetments or retaining walls found expression for the first time in the architectural history of the sub-region at Khami, and with it were elaborate decorations; it still has the longest decorated wall in the entire sub-region.

Khami is the second largest stone built monument in Zimbabwe. Its historical importance lies in its position at the watershed between the history of Great Zimbabwe and the later Zimbabwe period. It is one of the few Zimbabwe sites that were not destroyed by treasure hunters and its undisturbed stratigraphy is scientifically important in providing a much clearer insight into the history of the country.

The property is a unique and exceptional testimony to a civilization which has disappeared.The architecture and archaeological artefacts of the site provide important scientific and historical evidence critical for the understanding of the full chronological development of the Zimbabwe tradition from the Stone Age to the Iron Age era.

The property is an outstanding example of a type of building and architectural ensemble which illustrates a significant stage in history. It has yielded an exceptional long evidence related to human evolution and human environment dynamics, collectively extending from 100 000 years ago to date and demonstrates testimonial to the long distance trade with the outer world.

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