From the late 10th to the 15th century Zimbabwe was the centre of the great empire of the Karanga. The ruins that can be seen today originate from that period of wealth and achievements. People lived in Great Zimbabwe until the 17th century and possibly longer. The city fell into disuse thereafter. It was rediscovered by Europeans in 1867.
Great Zimbabwe extends over an area of 24 hectares. Much work is still needed to understand its civilization in detail. Elements of the city studied to date include a large fortification in a strategic hilltop location, with many rooms and a complicated array of passageways.
In the valley below is an elliptical stone wall - the "Great Enclosure" - next to a tower. Extensive remnants of a drainage system run through the entire valley.
The conical tower inside the Great Enclosure.
Photos: public domain (Wikipedia)