Riddles of lost civilization

Rain lily all evening – thick, abundant, warm. The real January rain, which he is supposed to be in the south of the African continent, where the height of the summer falls on the apogee of our winter. Less than a day passed since the endlessly distant Kremlin Quararants announced the new year’s offensive, but all the efforts of the servants of the hotel "Chevron", I tried to create a relaxed atmosphere of your favorite holiday, did not led to anything. Instead of carefree fun in the Zimbabvian hotel reigned atmosphere mysterious, almost gothic.

Spacious dining room empty. Candles flicker on the tables. Wide, durable umbrella issued by a helpful waiter, barely coped with heavenly waterfall. I passed the excessive wet dathers thickets of magnolia, ran into the veranda of the residential building and sat down, it was, on a white plastic chair, but he immediately had to jump. Flame mosquitoes were driven into the room. Well, it was possible, not in a hurry, remember the most interesting moments of the last long day.

From the Zimbabvian capital Harare, I left the cool early in the morning. Three hundred kilometers south, to Masvingo, close to ideal Zimbabvian roads – the path is not distant, but I did not want to hurry. The traffic jams from the thresholds of pure metropolitan cars were quickly ended, the owners of which are thin British and Dorodny, dressed in expensive black costumes – hurried from the prestigious suburbs built up with villas, to work in the company or to the Ministry. The farther in the outback, the less cameras. And most of those who have met, were visible types of jeeps and pickles, in whose dust bodies covered mountains of ribbed bags with corn cobs and meshes with oranges.

Closer to Masvingo Highway Obtained rocks. The picturesque and majestic, they still did not hit the way in the National Park Mathopos, in the West Zimbabwe, where the colossal boulders, drinking the laws of physics, literally soar above the ground. Some unknown way, these giants can be held on the tops of the mountains, finding a support in the severity of their anniversary bodies shifted from the center of gravity. The most amazing thing that soaring rocks are not made up with the basis of a whole whole. These are separate, broken giant pieces of rock. The inexplicable phenomenon of nature even served as the main topic when making a banknote of the national currency – Zimbabvian dollar.

With such a phenomenon, too, weakly explained, only generated by nature, but a man, I had to come together on that day. I went to look at the ruins of the Great Zimbabwe – the state that existed many centuries ago, and in the twentieth century he had given a lot of disputes, legends and hypotheses, and giving the name of the modern African country.

Throwing bag B "Chevron" and coping on the future route, I got behind the wheel again. Friendly gatekeeper assured that to the ruins hand to file – kilometers thirty. Masvingo ended in a couple of minutes. Like many cities of the former British Africa, founded at the end of the XIX century, he was a meeting of single-two-story brick houses built in typical English style. Streets, which was also typical, praised him on even, identical rectangles. In the center in the frame of the ancient guns, a square tower was smashed, resembling that the locality arose as an advanced post of the British Empire Fort Victoria, and, as much on the Black Continent, was named in honor of the Queen’s over the second half of the century. The modern name, in memory of Rus Rozhingo, the first ruler of the Great Zimbabwe, the city received after independence.

After half an hour I was on the spot. The sun barely kneaded to the sunset. Coming out of the car, I found myself in the middle of an extensive valley. Right left the right road, similar to the closed water smooth, stone drone of the dried river. She led to a high stone wall, behind which the crowns of trees were visible. To the wall was no more than a hundred meters, but I barely looked at her. Right in front of me raised the majestic hill, or rather, the mountain, whose foot was sworn by forest and shUSD Greens rose and above, interconnected with protruding from the ground hefty granite boulders. The same huge, similar rocks, stones were piled up on top, which was a solid granite platform with a thickness of tens of meters.

Performed primitive power of the harsh beauty of the landscape so fascinated that I did not immediately notice: there is a wall between the pile cliffs, like the one that stood not far in the valley. "African Acropolis" — I remembered the definition of the travel guide taken on the road. Well, no, rather – an impregnable castle. A drowning path was led to the top, which sometimes passed into the steps, spent in the outgoer breed. The farther I climbed, the more the belief was completely the conviction that one of the most unusual and well-spaced fortresses rose in front of me, ever built on our planet.

But I got to the entrance, or rather Laza, and went inside. Fortifications were still impressive. The height of the most powerful wall exceeded seven meters, and the thickness – four. The masonry was interrupted where the next boulder-giggle was getting on her way. The combination of natural and artificially erected obstacles was so harmonious, which seemed like the walls became a continuation of the rocks. That’s just the more I climbed along the trails, laid between the masonry and stones, the less I understood how the ancient defenders of the fortress were defended by enemies.

I still, I finally realized what embarrassed me. The walls are not only condensed by the top of the hill, but without the visible system, many of the inner sites, and without that tiny, from all sides of the boulders clapped. Moreover, in almost all fragments of masonry, the aisles were gaping, which were clearly made by the builders themselves, but there was no hint of the gate or door. The reference to the destructive time did not work, as the strange walls were finished and perfectly preserved. It turned out that they either served some unknown ritual goals, or were erected from aesthetic considerations.

The clock was suggested that it was time to descend. When I found myself in the valley, the sun was almost gone. Parking empty, trees discarded long shadows, wind verse, and surrounding silence stood around. I moved to a lonely car, but the glance fell on the stone row leading to the lower fortress. In any case, this building looked from above. From the top of the hill, as on the palm, there was a high outer wall in the form of an ellipse, and behind it – the walls down.

As in the case of the top lock, logic in defensive geometry was not viewed. The general appearance was darkened growing inside the sprawl trees, but it seemed that the inhabitants of the fortress, erecting the inner stone labyrinth, or intended to defend themselves from each other, or wanted to grow well, if one would bring to penetrate inside.

Surprised and unequal thickness of various sections of the outer wall. It was like that, starting construction, the ancient architects did not regret neither the strength, nor the material, and at the end, the study and having swaying, decided to complete the work, as. As a result, the end of the ellipse separated from the beginning of a fairly wide passage was significantly lower and several times thinner. But the most amazement caused the second wall, which duplicated the external only half. And the point is not even in this. In addition, she was so lower and adjacent to the external so close that any attempts at least somehow rationally explain such a strange design immediately crumbled into dust.

Around the lower fortress that did not exceed in diameter and hundreds of meters, the high grass grew, but inside everything was pulled out and tamped. Under the clue, both walls seemed high, in several human growth. Twilight approached. Soon the passage narrowed so much that it was possible to advance only by side. Smoothly dyed bricks, smooth rows ascended to the sky, leaving above only a narrow, rapidly darling strip. Stones swayed with grave cold. It is enough for today, I said out loud to at least something to break the silence, and, slowing down a step to keep at least some kind of dignity, went back.

Coming out of the passage, I sighed lightweight, raised my eyes and cried out from the surprise. In a pair of meters, I was silently in the focus I watched a fierce view half-lit African with feathers on my head. It was crawled by bracelets, amulets and other strange strangers and wrapped in a piece of skins, and he held a spear with a wrought tip in his hand. I froze, not knowing what to think. In fact, it is not the spirit of a resident of the Great Zimbabwe, suddenly appeared from the Middle Ages. On the other hand, and on the robber, something is not very similar.

After a pause, enjoyed by my confusion, Lifely wished a good evening, Lifebabbabbwiens and entrusted, entrusted whether I had an inspection. Having received an affirmative answer, he said that that day I was the last tourist, and asked if it would not be difficult, to throw it to Masvingo. Intercepting my opinion, continuing to smoke on his picturesque alongside, the African explained that while I had to come to the car, he would have time to leave a spear somewhere on the way, remove feathers and change clothes.

Waiting for no more than a minute. On the way, a strange warrior, sitting already in jeans and a T-shirt with a portrait of Bob Marley, said that it works as a living exhibit. Every day he traveled to the great Zimbabwe on the bus, put on an exotic bin and offered for a small fee to take pictures with him with him. On questions about life in ancient Zimbabwe a new acquaintance answered willingly but blurry. To explain the cause of the strange location of the walls he could not.

The next morning, with the blind light of the sun, the ruins seemed not at all by sinister. Oblocked with yesterday’s familiar, newly welcomed in feathers and skins and standing on the watch in anticipation of feces on the exoticism of tourists, I once again looked attentively at the Valley. In addition to the main fortress, there were many others scattered on it, not so large ruins. Low, in the meter-half the remains of the walls outlined the boundaries of ancient settlements. According to the guide of the group to which I joined, the rich inhabitants of the ancient state lived here.

I carefully examined the lower fortress. It turned out to be the remains of several platforms, where, according to Guide, the animal sacrifices committed. The most notable structure was a round, narrowing up the tower, on the form similar to the traditional grain. But the guide assured that there is nothing inside the tower, and it consists entirely of dying stone bricks. It turned out when at the beginning of the last century it was trying to disassemble, considering that the treasure may be hidden in the middle.

Which hypotheses did not put forward against this, the most famous part of the ruins. According to one hypothesis, the tower was a symbol of fertility, denoting a resident. On another hypothesis, she symbolized female fecundity. On the third, – was a phallic symbol and hints at the men’s start and energy. Similar discrepancies were available in relation to two fortresses. One version read that the monarch of the Great Zimbabwe lived in the lower fortress, there were approximate and noble people around her, and the priests, sorcerers and signs lived on top of the hill.

But there is another point of view: on top there was a residence of the ruler, and his wife and theta lived in the lower fortress, that is, the older sister. This title was almost the most authoritative in an ancient state, not counting, of course, the monarch itself. Traveling around the history of the ancient Zimbabwe successfully continued in a small museum located halfway between two fortresses. The exposition consisted of archaeological finds made during excavations. There were copies and hoeing tips, gongs, wires and other local iron products – metal hard for treatment, and therefore appreciated in those distant times no less than gold. Nearby lay glass Indian beads, fragments of dishes from Persia and China, proving a variety of trading ties.

The most valuable exhibits are eight statuettes of the creature, nicknamed "Bird Zimbabwe" and appearing on the coat of arms of the modern state. Seven sculptures made of milk soap stone, preserved completely, one – partially. Despite the considerable amount, it seems that it makes it possible to accurately determine the origin and value of the bird, arguing around this legendary creation. Part of the researchers will recognize in sculptures reaching almost 40 centimeters in the height, a stylized image of a widespread river eagle in southern Africa, the former symbol of the monarch of power. Others are inclined to the fact that the figurines are generally not related to the pennate, but are a figure of some kind of mythological character.

Agree scientists only in one – the origin of the names of Zimbabwe. All refer to the phrases of Dzimba Dza Mabwe ("Houses from Stone") and Dzimba War ("Required at home") who are in the language of the country’s largest nationality of the country of Sean, and now inhabiting the territory of the ancient state.

But this consensus reached recently. Since at the end of the X1x century, the European hunter came across the ruins of the Great Zimbabwe, the ancient city was the subject of fierce disputes, and not only academic. During the rule of the British, the point of view prevailed, in which the magnificent buildings were not considered the fruit of knowledge and labor of Sean. Believe that Africans managed to independently build structures that do not have equal on the African continent, with the exception of Egyptian pyramids, colonialists could not and did not want. Otherwise it would have to recognize that "Unfortunate Dicaries", For the admission of which to the fruits of enlightenment, the subjects of Her Majesty Victoria, allegedly, and captured the country, had their own original civilization and an ancient history.

Who just did not attract the ears to bypass an unpleasant truth. Mythical Pelasgi and Real Egyptians, Phoenicians and Greeks, Romans and Arabs visited applicants. The most liberal colonialists were shy to recognize the authorship of Africans, but with amendment on "Theory of stimulants". Her essence was that Sean erected a fortress under the influence of other peoples with leather. That is, again, Arabs, which since the beginning of our era floated along the East African coast and, mixing with the black population, gave rise to the culture of Suakhili.

When in 1965, the white minority regime Jan Smith unilaterally announced independence from the UK to prevent the transfer of power to London to the black majority, the question of the origin of the Great Zimbabwe became more principled. White Historians-Rasists proved that the ruins are the remains of one of the supporting fortresses of the Old Testament Tsaritsa Sava. The garrison, allegedly, was engaged in the collection of filters in the form of ivory and gold, which were transported to the north of the continent, increasing the already unreasonable wealth of the metropolis.

Take the existence in the twentieth century such, with the permission to say, science would be impossible if not the official travel guide of the Rhodesian times, which I saw in one of the Museums by Harare after returning from Masvingo. On the cover against the background of the walls of the Great Zimbabwe, a woman was condemned, dressed with a claim on ancient Egyptian fashion. In front of her knees sat black slave, respectfully stretching her huge gold ingot. This kind of Belibard was published with the active support of the ruling white regime.

At the same time, serious, objective publications were prohibited. By the end of the 1960s, an unbiased scientist was clear that the complex is completely – the creation of Africans. This was confirmed by excavations, I urged even attentive external inspection. So, the difference in the thickness and quality of masonry walls of the lower fortress was easily explained by the fact that the builders, as they move forward, accumulated the experience and improved their art.

Racist views that dominated the year and a half of the Board of Jan Smith are still untenable because the Great Zimbabwe was not the only similar building. Both to the east, and to the south, and north of it there are dozens of similar fortifications. This allocated only to scale and safety. As for the notorious Tsaritsa Sava, this crazy idea could not stand the first serious test.

Riddles of lost civilization

Laboratory analysis has shown that Great Zimbabwe was built in a thousand years after the reign of the legendary government. But, as said in 1969 at a meeting of the White Parliament, Colonel Hartley, a deputy from Victoria province, "sometimes historians do not sin and correct". The strictest censorship led to the fact that the leading scientists began to leave the country. Among them was Peter Garlaik, the senior inspector of the historical monuments of Southern Rhodesia and the largest researcher of the Great Zimbabwe.

After the proclamation in 1980, the independence of Garlaik returned to his homeland. But now he has criticized already on the other hand.

"The study of the Great Zimbabwe is a way to gain our identity", — Declared the new administrator of the district, Sean Ken Mufuka. He also fled from the country, and returning after acquired with blood dependence, began to decisively approve new ideals.

For mufuka and for the Government of the Black Most Great Zimbabwe – this is the foundation on which the building of the modern country should be erected. It is only bad that the ancient sean, with all their originality, did not exist writing. Black researchers replace it with studying the oral tradition, choosing legends suitable for the exaltation of a society of universal justice, which builds a permanently ruling party of the party-Pf since 1980.

"European scientists underscore the economic factor everywhere – Mufuka points. — But the genius of the rulers of the Great Zimbabwe consisted that their power was based not only on force or on economic enterprise, but also on a much stronger power of religion".

Garleik’s monographs sometimes give excessive rationalism. He explains the emergence of the Great Zimbabwe in the CP, a strong centralized state, which would protect the huge herds of livestock. The disintegration of the powerful kingdom in the middle of the hu century, the scientist is inclined to include too much population growth and the number of livestock, which led to the depletion of pastures.

But the scientist is obliged to be guided only by the facts that can be verified. The first Europeans, the Portuguese appeared in the area of ​​the Great Zimbabwe at the beginning of the Hu1 century, when the city is already 70 years old as he fell into decay. They moved their interest in the mysterious kingdom of a monomota, where, by rumors, an unprecedented amount of gold was mined. Having found that the stories are greatly exaggerated, the Portuguese lost to Monomotape, and at the same time towards neighboring Zimbabwe, and modern historians lost opportunities to read the chronicles with a description of the morals and customs that appeared in the African Kingdom.

As he could, Garleik tried to fill the gap. Together with another artist, he released a fictionalized excavation report, focusing on the everyday life of the ancient city. In the interpretation of Garleika, a largerozimbabbvians appear by people hardworking. They built and grazed the cattle, the iron spears and hoes, made decorations made of copper wire and gold (which was mined on a small scale), tibes on hand-made cotton capes, sewed leather aprons, crossed cereals and cooked beer.

The historian is convinced that strange walls have never been for military purposes and were not intended. "This is a symbol – he emphasizes. — The so-called fortresses were told everyone: you enter the territory where the powerful monarch rules. Nowadays, the country to prove its greatness, sends a person to space, and seven centuries ago this goal was achieved by the construction of majestic stone palaces and castles".

I could not explain the scientist only why Great Zimbabwe, reaching dawn by the end of the X1U century, then quickly declined. Tens of thousands of people who accumulated in the valley and countless herds of livestock, for grazing, there was not enough pastures, of course, the reasons for respectful. But, as Garleil himself spread his hands, earlier with such crisis, the state has repeatedly coped,

Garleik admires the ingenuity of the ancient Zimbabvians who managed to independently open ways to make openings, turns and steps, not using a drop of clay or a solution. He loves decorative elements, including the geometrically strict snakes of Chevron, places mysterious "Birds Zimbabwe" on long sixts that put on the protrusions preserved on the walls. Complains the forms and ornament of houses stood inside ornamental walls.

When I saw these drawings, I immediately understood how the insciousness of the historian and the artist got off, because such houses exist and so. Before returning to Harare, I decided to go around Lake Mutigin, not far from which the ruins of the Great Zimbabwe spread. What I saw has become a decent trip conclusion.

In the ramps of multi-colored rocks, it is like an inlay, brightly distinguished round clay houses painted with a characteristic angular ornament. Pied a picture of green splashes of trees, who, like housing, people and pets, fit into the landscape extremely natural. It was difficult to get rid of the thought that the seven, and twenty-seven centuries ago lived here.

The last miracle was accomplished when, inspired by the seen from the lake, I decided on the way in Harare once again collapse from the highway. Shifting on the villagers, I found myself at a big church. Around were at home, but their inhabitants probably worked in the field. A flock of boys, the only living beings, which we managed to meet in extinct settlement, did not clarify. The boys did not understand in English at all. And to explain that. Church, whose carved door, a worthy museum exposition, was not locked, was the only one of its kind works of art. Dozens of wooden sculptures, painting Soronic Christian God deeply in its own way. Apostles and saints were made in a traditional manner, and their features were given an African origin.

Having tried to get out on the highway, I finally dug in countless turns, and lost hope to return in Harare to darkness, when ahead, in a narrow corridor of the primer, laid in the thickets of prickly acacia saw a herd of cows. Nased animals, I swelled. Their crawled twigs dressed in one shorts barefoot, tanned, white boy. Having learned about my trouble, he said he drives herd in the right direction and offered to follow him. For almost an hour I dragged, forcedly admiring their spins and tails. Well, another unexpected pause, another opportunity to reflect on the fantastic past and the present Zimbabwe.

Riddles of lost civilization

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