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Meet the 800-Year-Old Golden Rhinoceros that Challenged Apartheid South Africa

April 4, 2019 - General
Meet the 800-Year-Old Golden Rhinoceros that Challenged Apartheid South Africa

It may be small enough to sit in the palm of your hand, but even now – nearly 800 years after it was lost to sight in what is now South Africa – the Golden Rhinoceros of Mapungubwe has powerful symbolism. It’s a representation of one of the region’s most physically powerful animals– the rhinoceros – and one of the region’s most enduring symbols of power – gold.

It also bears witness to a powerful and sophisticated kingdom that existed in Africa hundreds of years before white settlement. The golden rhinoceros was recovered in 1934 from a royal grave at the site of Mapungubwe in northern South Africa close to the border of Zimbabwe. Its creation in the 13th century is a reflection of the wealth of the state of Mapungubwe, southern Africa’s earliest known kingdom.

The Lydenburg Head. Iziko Museums of South Africa, Social History Collections,

The Lydenburg Head. Iziko Museums of South Africa, Social History Collections, Author provided


Source: origins

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