- from African Kingdoms
Thick stone walls and a cone-shaped tower are all that’s left of a mighty empire in southern Africa.
In the twelfth century, Great Zimbabwe was the center of a powerful state built by the Shona people. It traded goods with merchants from as far away as Asia. In the 1400s, its rulers got rich. They collected tribute and taxes on trade between the local gold fields and cities on the East African coast. The people began building Great Zimbabwe in the early 1000s and continued into the 1400s. In the early 1400s, over 10,000 people lived in or near the city. By 1450, no one did.