Great Zimbabwe ruins from a distance. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Great Zimbabwe state (Kingdom): The purpose of the Great Zimbabwe structures

  • The uses of the Great Zimbabwe structure has been the subject of much speculation
  • Some experts have tried to come up with a list of plausible uses of the various structures at Great Zimbabwe
  • The great Zimbabwe walls were called The Great Enclosure or Imbahuru and their purpose were;
  • Defence- that is to withstand any attacks from the state’s enemies
  • They also served as the residence of the ruling family
  • They separated the ruling class from the commoners.
  • The Great Enclosure was more luxurious than those in the valley where commoners lived
  • The structures signified wealth and power especially how the ruling class could organize and mobilize labour
  • They were the residents of the first wife of the king in the Great House
  • They also provided privacy for the ruling class
  • They also served as an evidence of unity and sense of purpose
  • The Conical Towers were used for religious purposes as a shrine to offer sacrifices and praise to Mwari
  • To learn more go to the topic: Reasons for the building of Great Zimbabwe

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.

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