Written by Chris Dunbar. All pictures are copyright by Chris Dunbar.
This site is scattered over a very wide area and was a large settlement (Dambarare covers about 6 square km’s), one of the largest Earthworks numbered 2 was flooded when the Jumbo Mine Dam was built, a great shame as while a little excavation work was done the Professor that I spoke with told me that only 2% of the site was studied so truly a great wealth of possible finds lost for ever.
I looked and searched and was very disappointed with the lack of success, I have a few pictures but only one worth anything, it shows a small hill where a very minor earthwork was situated, it was never excavated and all surface remains have gone.
These pictures are from the “Ancient workings” very near the sites of Dambarare. They were dug before the Portuguese arrived but were a draw card for the Portuguese to settle in the area, I have a lot about Dambarare but was unable to locate any of the actual earthworks despite extensive looking.
After the sacking of Dambarare in 1693, it is believed that some of the military loot was moved to the site of Dhlo Dhlo. This was either an attempt to elevate the local king’s status amongst his vassals, or as a trade bargaining chip by the sacker of Dambarare. The canons when found showed that they could not have been fired, after they were removed from Dambarare. They are currently outside the presidential residence in South Africa.
DAMBARARE EARTHWORK 1:
This is where Professor Garlake focused his excavation efforts. Amazing to think that under here are up to 1000 Portuguese men and women, soldiers and priests buried awaiting discovery.
22 is a picture of the site in general the actual earthwork would have been behind the tree in the centre of the picture and would have covered most of that rise as it was quite large. 540 feet x 270 feet.
9, 11 are general shoots from within the fort / earthwork surrounds.
18 is where I locate the church mound seen on figure 2a.
Figure 2a is the shape the earthwork would have taken
32 and 33 are front and back pottery shards found on the surface inside the Earthwork 1.
31 is a guyo grinding stone for crushing gold bearing ore found at the site.
DAMBARARE EARTHWORK 3:
No visable surface remains but this site was on the edge of this hill overlooking the valley. Earthwork 4, 2 and 1 would have been visable from this earthwork. In my opinion Earhwork 5 would have been too far away to have been visable.
DAMBARARE EARTHWORK 4:
When Jumbo Mine Dam was made in the 90’s it flooded Earthwork 4. The best of the feiras, it still had the walls etc, but now consigned to history.
DAMBARARE, ZIMBABWE: CHURCH GRAVES SKETCHES
Sketches by P. S. Garlake. Historical Monuments Commission, Salisbury.
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