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Mapungubwe Reconsidered

Exploring beyond the rise and decline of the Mapungubwe state

Mapungubwe Reconsidered: Exploring beyond the rise and decline of the Mapungubwe state, contributes to the body of knowledge about Mapungubwe, straddling such issues as the relationships between humans and the environment, management of mineral endowments and the form and impact of southern Africa’s global intercourse in this historical period.

The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape is one of the profound treasures of southern Africa’s social and archaeological history, appropriately declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in 2003. Contained within this landscape is indispensable information on precolonial state formation, social hierarchies, architecture of stone-walled towns, mineral processing and intercontinental trade. And yet, the Mapungubwe state rose, towered over its environs, and then declined – long before European colonial incursions.

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