The following paper critically reviews the film “Lost Kingdoms of Africa: Great Zimbabwe”. It deals with the investigation and analysis of the ancient African culture, namely the lost Kingdoms which are considered to be connected with the phenomenon of Great Zimbabwe to a certain extent. The course of investigation focuses on the culture of the kingdom, its major activity, and archaeological aspect. The investigation is based on both theoretical and empirical research courses, i.e. it relies on the knowledge basis provided by the experts in the field of concern as well as the analysis of the remnants of the ancient civilizations.
The key archaeological theme of the reviewed film is connected with the essence of the African culture, namely the culture of Great Zimbabwe. The scope of the study of the issue in question is poorly investigated because of the lack of empirical data based on the direct observation and research of the site of concern. The obvious lack of empirical and factual data is predetermined by the prohibition of recording the course of investigation on the territory of Zimbabwe. Moreover, the remnants of the ancient civilization, which are available in the current course of time, are not sufficient to reveal the necessary information about the culture of the lost kingdoms of ancient Africa.
Overview of the Film
The film “Lost Kingdoms of Africa: Great Zimbabwe” starts with the overall outline of the subject of concern and presentation of the key concepts and dates. The course of investigation of the African culture, namely the culture of the great Zimbabwe and cultures related to it, is subdivided into several consequent research courses. The film starts with the discussion and analysis of Rhapta, a significant trading center of Zimbabwe. On the territory of the ancient Rhapta, there has been found 2000-years-old pottery. It is considered to originate from the Nile Valley and is regarded as a vivid proof of contacts with the neighboring countries.
The next destination of the investigator is Kilwa, Swahili Coast. This site has been considered to be the gateway for trading, and the primary focus of trading course has been gold. It is crucial to discuss the significance of the mosque featured in the film as the part of the ancient culture. The structure of the mosque is especially essential as far as it has been built using corals and gyps in the complicated form of mosaic developed from domes and pillars. The mosque is a great example of culture as well as religion of the Kilwa land.
Manyikeni is the next point of discussion. It is considered to be the leading trading center on the territory. The land has been unknown since 1970. The archaeological aspect is characterized by the variety of findings on the site, namely gold, copper wires, glass beads, and blades. Manyikeni is regarded as a crossing point and a major connection to the Great Zimbabwe land.
The course of investigation is followed by research in Mapungubwe that is considered to be the first proper and constructive example of Kingdom on the territory of Africa which has had connections with the countries across the continent. Huffman supports the significance of the gold rhino and the evidence of a strong hierarchy in the kingdom. Finally, Great Zimbabwe is visited and analyzed. This enormous mythical city and its heritage is a crucial aspect of the whole study of the African culture. It demonstrates the sophisticated and complex essence of the culture as well as multidimensional social organization on the territory of Zimbabwe kingdoms (Denbow).
Methodologies, Theories, and Other Archaeological Concepts Highlighted in the Film
The methodology that is used in the film appears to be the direct observation and subsequent analysis based on a significant theoretical background of the author of the research. The theories which are used in the film are regarded as a classic approach of the historians and archaeologists. They assume the possible status and role of the lost kingdoms of Africa as well as their connections with Great Zimbabwe and further potential development.
Discussion of the Accuracy and Usefulness of the Film
The film “Lost Kingdoms of Africa: Great Zimbabwe” is informative and detailed. The analyzed phenomenon is investigated properly and thoroughly. It is very important that the data are relevantly structured into the separate units. Such an approach guarantees consistency of the research course. Moreover, every significant aspect of the issue in question is illustrated with relevant artifacts, for instance, rhino, mosque, remnants of the settlement, pottery, etc. The data are presented in accordance with a strict accuracy of dates and terms as well as the constructive organization of the data presentation.
Thus, the reviewed film is very useful for the researchers who study ancient cultures, especially African authenticity. The key significance of the analyzed film is that it is not a summary of the preliminary study, literature review ,or discussion of theoretical dilemmas, but a direct observation of the site of concern, its key artifacts and discussion of the issue with the experts. Moreover, the film establishes perspectives for further course of investigation.
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