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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499

Abstract

RUGWIJI, Temba T.. Identity Reconstruction of the Great Zimbabwe National Monument: An Indigenous Knowledge Systems Perspective. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2019, vol.45, n.2, pp.1-18. ISSN 2412-4265.  http://dx.doi.org/10.25159/2412-4265/4145.

Various theories have been advanced on the identity of the people who built the Great Zimbabwe National Monument (GZNM). On the one hand, some ancient Mediterranean communities (Lebanese and Phoenicians) are associated with the construction of GZNM. On the other hand, some archaeological discoveries have claimed that the unique architecture could be assigned to King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, suggesting a religious/biblical basis regarding the construction of the structures. In some instances, those in favour of local indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) argue that the Shona people of the Rozvi dynasty in Zimbabwe were the architects of the magnificent structure. Despite voluminous literature published to date, including more recent contributions, consensus has not been reached on the identity of the people who constructed GZNM. From an IKS perspective, this study attempts to reconstruct an identity formation surrounding GZNM by exploring some similarities in terms of cultural customs between the Ancient Mediterranean World (AMW) and the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The aim of such an investigation is to search for some certainty about the identity of the people who built GZNM. The research findings will complement and contribute to the existing body of knowledge about GZNM.

Keywords : Great Zimbabwe National Monument (GZNM); Ancient Mediterranean World (AMW); South Africa; Zimbabwe; religio-cultural knowledge; technology.

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