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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a complex of archaeological cultures in South Africa named after the cliff on the Limpopo River near Messina.

Mapungubwe was discovered by treasure hunters in 1929 and investigated between 1931 and 1934. Traces of a culture from the early Iron Age (c. eighth to 12th centuries) were found on the cliff and in its vicinity. The culture was characterized by modeled stamped pottery, small iron arrowheads, and iron hoes. The population engaged in primitive hoe farming and in stock raising and hunting. A fortification on the cliff, dating from approximately the 14th to 17th centuries, belonged to a culture of the developed Iron Age that had polished pottery, numerous objects made of iron, and gold ornaments. The population of this later stage also engaged in farming and stock raising. The late culture of Mapungubwe most likely was a variant of the Zimbabwe culture.


Fadeev, L. A. “Problema proiskhozhdeniia kul’tury Zimbabve.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1960, no. 2.
Fouché, L. Mapungubwe: Ancient Bantu Civilisation on the Limpopo. London, 1937.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
L'edition 2019 marque la 12eme annee consecutive ou les coureurs ont l'occasion de decouvrir la zone de conservation transfrontaliere du grand Mapungubwe en Afrique du Sud.
The Order of Mapungubwe recognises South Africans who have excelled and attained exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond.
The commission should help expose the extent of corruption and may lead to criminal charges, said Susan Booysen, research director at the South African think tank Mapungubwe Institute of Strategic Reflection.
"Mabuza may be less of a threat to Ramaphosa as deputy president than he would have been had he ended up angry or frustrated in a full-time ANC position," Susan Booysen at the Johannesburg-based Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection told Bloomberg News.
Bestowed SAs highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe, in 2009, he remains a beacon of Mandela-like proportions in medicine and has proved a rallying point for those fighting to prevent all-too-frequent academic and clinical burnout.
This group moved to Mapungubwe where they used stone walls to separate the ruling class from the rest of the population.
He was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe, South Africa's highest honour, for his contributions to the field of science and medicine.
In light of concerns about deteriorating race relations and social cohesion in South Africa, a more broad-based conversation on whiteness in South Africa, particularly with regard to Afrikaans whites, was hosted by the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection in November 2015 (see < Whiteness-Roundtable.aspx>, accessed 28 July 2017).
Yongjun Zhao, Head of China Affairs and Assistant Professor in Globalisation Studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and Research Fellow at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection in South Africa, discusses these issues.
Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria and Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, South Africa
You will get to enjoy visiting the cradle of humankind in Gauteng, the Western Cape, and its famous wine routes and obviously, the famous ruins of Kingdom of Mapungubwe situated in the northern part of Limpopo.