Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17


Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016


Adapted form ‘Lost cities #9: racism and ruins – the plundering of Great

Zimbabwe’ which appeared in The Guardian

In the 19th century, European visitors to this abandoned medieval city

refused to believe that indigenous Africans could have built such an

extensive network of monuments. Such ignorance was disastrous for the

remains of Great Zimbabwe

In the early 16th century, rumours of a mysterious fortress with

gargantuan walls, abandoned in the African jungle, spread around

Europe. Surrounded by goldmines and sitting on a 900-metre-high

hill, the city was thought to represent the summit of a unique African

civilisation which had traded with distant Asian countries, including China

and Persia.


A Portuguese sea captain, Viçente Pegado, was one of the first foreigners

to encounter the site, in 1531. He wrote: “Among the goldmines of the

inland plains between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers [is a] fortress built

of stones of marvellous size, and there appears to be no mortar joining

them … This edifice is almost surrounded by hills, upon which are others

resembling it in the fashioning of stone and the absence of mortar, and

one of them is a tower more than 12 fathoms high.”


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