Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

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

14

Notable features of the Hill Complex included a huge boulder in a shape

similar to that of the Zimbabwe Bird, from where the king presided over

every important ritual, such as the judgment of criminals, the appeasing

of ancestors and sacrifices to rainmaker gods. The sacrifices happened

over a raised platform below the king’s seat, where oxen were burned.

If the smoke went straight up, the ancestors were appeased. If it was

crooked, they were unhappy and another sacrifice must be made.

South of the Hill Complex lies the Great Enclosure, occupied from the

13th to the 15th centuries: a spectacular circular monument made of cut

granite blocks. Its outer wall, five metres thick, extends some 250 metres

and has a maximum height of 11 metres, making it the largest ancient

structure in Africa south of the Sahara.

The most fascinating thing about the Great Enclosure walls is the absence

of sharp angles; from the air they are said to resemble a “giant grey

bracelet”. A narrow passage just inside the walls leads to a conical

tower, the use of which has been the subject of much speculation – from

symbolic grain bin to phallic symbol.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15

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