If you are interested in modern African history, you might enjoy it but I did not. Jerard van der Walt rated it it was amazing Oct 24, Tom Kullman rated it liked it Feb 10, Jasmine Garcia rated it it was ok Sep 20, Susan rated it it was ok May 05, Renaud rated it liked it Sep 25, Orion rated it liked it Apr 19, Hamish Danks Brown rated it liked it Dec 31, Nux marked it as to-read Apr 13, Krista the Krazy Kataloguer marked it as to-read Mar 20, Rachel marked it as to-read Mar 24, Harmony marked it as to-read May 08, Vuyo Makasi added it Jun 11, John The Scott added it Jul 03, Chris is currently reading it Aug 02, Kevin marked it as to-read Nov 15, Carla Anderson marked it as to-read Mar 02, James Lees added it Sep 10, Jeremy added it Oct 16, Mousum added it Apr 08, Heather Perkins marked it as to-read Jul 14, Subash marked it as to-read Sep 23, Dan Johnson marked it as to-read Jun 29, Beiza added it Oct 30, Marie-heleen Coetzee is currently reading it Oct 31, Rem marked it as to-read Jul 18, Vuyo Makasi added it Feb 09, Sara marked it as to-read Apr 27, John Somers marked it as to-read Dec 22, Walter VDE marked it as to-read May 05, Maresa added it Aug 18, Bongani Mgole marked it as to-read Aug 23, Robert added it Mar 15, Stefano added it May 03, Steven West marked it as to-read Jul 05, Krista the Krazy Kataloguer marked it as to-read Apr 07, Goliath Meshack marked it as to-read Dec 03, Michel marked it as to-read Jun 09, Brown-Lowe fails to recognise that his opinion does not count as fact, and later takes his opinions as to the thoughts of later writers too far so as to verge on slander.
Queen of Sheba
I say this because, in doing this he is imposing his own interpretations on someone now dead and beyond the ability to correct misrepresentation. A far better and balanced review of the contribution of the Bents to the study of Great Zimbabwe is presented by Brian John Braddock Chapter five begins with the apparently contradictory admission that some African hegemony must have existed in the interior otherwise the stone structures would not have been built. However, he states that the theories of local authorship, i. Evidence of local innovation anywhere in the world, other than late Victorian progress, are clearly not considered possible and all evidence for these developments are ignored.
The sixth chapter also describes the formation and activities of the Ancient Ruins Company and their violation of several ruins in their quest for golden treasure. The fact that the Company destroyed many ruins is overlooked completely in favour of presenting them as romantic tomb raiders. This neatly leads him on to the depredations at Great Zimbabwe by Richard Hall, whose clearances are defended by Brown-Lowe as necessary to preserve the ancient ruin, i. Even before colonisation, many hunters, explorers e. Frederick Selous and Emil Holub and some of the Pioneer Column raised doubts about foreign influence.
However, if Brown-Lowe had done more extensive and up-to-date reading he would have found many of his objections answered in a clear, factual fashion by various academics and informed lay-persons e. Soper , , Summers There is no questioning of the conclusions of the latter who is portrayed as the innocent local expert marginalised by the international expert imposed from the liberal metrapoles. Again creating a conspiracy theory, Brown-Lowe implies that Caton-Thompson really did not believe in an indigenous origin, but had to follow academic peer pressure and could not openly declare this in her book Caton-Thompson This is completely wrong.
Even a basic search on the internet reveals thousands of tourist sites where the site features prominently. Visitor numbers have remained consistently high over 80 a year , especially since independence in see Ndoro , and the decline of late has more to do with other political issues than a loss of international interest in this World Heritage Site. At issue are the very early dates that seemed to contradict the recent building of the stone structure. These initially caused archaeologists considerable anxiety. However the technique is only an approximate one it is not an actual fact but is data to be investigated — at the time these samples were made the technique was still being developed and was prone to some oddities, while the age can be impacted by the use of older wood in a recent context.
The last situation is probably applicable to Great Zimbabwe where the use of hard, slow growing wood Combretum imberbe and Spirostachys africana would provide the date it was living tissue rather than when it was built into the wall Summers The author also fails to mention that these samples where later re-dated and have been analysed correctly Huffman and Vogel , Summers Having ended the previous chapter with a teaser about the Bents studies in Ethiopia, the author devotes a greater part of the ninth to a look at the country and its connection with various tales in the Bible, notably Solomon and Sheba.
He sees the spread of the various Egyptian cultures down the Nile as the genesis for the culture that eventually developed into the stone-building Zimbabwe Culture. No real evidence is offered as to the postulated waves of invasions and attendant settlers nor are there solid data for any connections between the north and south of the continent before the late first millennium AD. This is not because Hromnik has used archaeological and linguistic evidence in an inappropriate manner cf.
Lost cities #5: how the magnificent city of Merv was razed – and never recovered
There is an unstated ethnic characterisation in this. He makes a valid point that if the Indians were permanently here in large numbers, why do we not find evidence of their presence in the form of elaborately carved monuments and sculpture? After all in the Asian Subcontinent, civilisation and all its associated features were already well developed by the time that the supposed colonisation of this part of Africa was supposed to have occurred. Following on from this attack on another competing alien origins theorist, Brown-Lowe unveils his own mishmash of a timeline for southern Africa which gives no dates for the building of the structures nor of their development and decline.
Imposing his own conclusions, he suggests that the father of scientific investigation of the Iron Age in Southern Africa harboured ideas of foreign paternity for all the stone buildings of southern Africa. Brown-Lowe stoops lower and claims professional archaeologist Keith Robinson was in on it as well, based on a single statement in his paper on Zimbabwe pottery. These are unfair and unsubstantiated insinuations. He argues that in many cases, certain structures, such as the sinuously curved doorways, were built for aesthetic purposes only, a trait the Shona were only able to develop with outside influence, i.
He subtly reinforces this idea by referring to the art school of Frank McEwen that helped Shona sculpture and art become the world- recognised phenomena it is today.
The Lost City of Solomon and Sheba
Without being overly knowledgeable about genetic analyses, I can only say that, in line with the rest of his evidence, Brown-Lowe relates this in a confusing and ill-referenced way that is hardly convincing. He hopes that genetics will offer the final and conclusive story as to the Zimbabwe Culture so that the exotic past can be exploited in a better fashion than is done today by the Zimbabwean people. This is a reflection of his own bias. Clearly he has an axe to grind both with the nationalist politicians and academics who have worked hand in hand to hide this alleged exotic truth.
Unfortunately he is wrong. There have been mistakes by academics but they have largely been seen to, and it is true that Great Zimbabwe, more than most international monuments, has been subject to distortion for political ends by all groups from left to right and black and white nationalists alike cf.
Hall , Its contestation and the creation of false myths goes on even today and it is unlikely to stop see Fontein This work is one of these distortions based on inadequate fact and personal speculation. The referencing in the book is shockingly bad, with often no indication of where a quotation or his ideas are taken from.
Brown-Lowe could have also tried harder to find and include more recent work on the Zimbabwe Culture, and the wider area; for a start, Burrett , Huffman , Pikirayi , Ndoro , Matenga and Mitchell Many of his ideas and objections are convincingly dealt with by these authors in an understandable and non-hyperbolic manner.
In general, the conclusions and evidence offered by the book are apocryphal, with far too little care taken with their sequence and presentation. The audience for the book may safely be assumed to be the white Rhodesians still scattered about the world as shown by the frequent digressions into more recent Pioneer history and the pandering to extrinsic origins ideas that were a hallmark of the Smith minority government.
It remains a real pity that our understandable anger at events and persons of unrelated matters continue to cloud our appreciation of the country and its history; it blinkers a real understanding of what we have lost.
The lost city of Solomon and Sheba : an African… | karakus library | TinyCat
In addition, this book has little to offer the general people of Zimbabwe and thankfully, due to the price, few will or can afford to waste their money on it. Beach, D. Cognitive archaeology and imaginary history at Great Zimbabwe. Current Anthropology 39 1 : Bent, J.
Bisson, M. Copper currency in central Africa: the archaeological evidence. World Archaeology 6 3 : This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Home Books Society. Save For Later.
Create a List. Summary In the heart of south-central Africa lies an ancient and ruined civilization comprising several thousand stone structures—many as large as modern towns—all surrounded by thousands of abandoned gold mines.