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  • Around the year A.D. 900, the Shona people built a wealthy and powerful kingdom in what is now Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The capital was a city called Great Zimbabwe.
  • Zimbabwe is a Shona word meaning stone houses.
  • Great Zimbabwe was the largest of many similar cities throughout the region.
  • Some structures were more than 30 feet (9 m) high. Their large stones were cut to fit and stay in place without mortar to hold them together.
  • Great Zimbabwe was abandoned in the 1400s, possibly because its growing population exhausted its water and food resources. The city’s ruins show the Shona’s skill as builders.
  • By the 1300s,Great Zimbabwe had become a great commercial center, collecting gold mined nearby and trading it to Arabs at ports on the Indian Ocean.
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