The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape is one of the profound treasures of southern Africa’s social and archaeological history, appropriately declared a World Heritage (Unesco) in 2003. Contained within this landscape is indispensable information on precolonial state formation, social hierarchies, architecture of stone-walled towns, mineral processing and intercontinental trade.
And yet, the Mapungubwe state rose, towered over its environs, and then declined – long before European colonial incursions. What exactly were the social dynamics in this polity? What technologies did it utilise? How did it relate to neighbouring unable to sustain itself? In this combined edition of two MISTRA publications, now jointly titled Mapungubwe Reconsidered: A Living Legacy, MISTRA seeks to contribute to the body of knowledge about Mapungubwe, straddling such issues as the relationships between humans and the environment, management of mineral endowments and the form and impact of southern Africa’s global intercourse in this historical period.