Archiver > RHODESIAN-PIONEERS > 2006-09 > 1159447246

From: "carruthers - home" <>
Subject: [RHODESIAN-PIONEERS] Zimbabwe Ruins- Debate
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 14:40:46 +0200
References: <006401c6e2e0$3d4f0ba0$0200a8c0@NewTelly>

Could I kick off a Debate on the Below text,
I have questions to raise & I know at least one other member
on this list has similar interests. A wealth of knowledgeable folk out
there can you assist !!

1) The Ancient Ruins company with Willie/Harry Posselt -
Who were the other members
2) Age old question - who built the ruins - your views
3) How is Adam Renders correctly spelt - Descendants suggest Render
4) Fencing Kraals with Ivory - Mmmn - I have my suspicions
5) Would anyone have an idea, did the Germans attempt or carry out
excavations at Great Zimbabwe after the 1900's

History of the Ruins

The Great Zimbabye (Zimbabwe) ruins, lies twelve miles East of Fort
Victoria. Our history books suggest the ruins are presumed to have been
built before 1500 AD, the early European visitors to the ruins after the
Portuguese in the early 1500's were Arab slave traders followed by
missionaries, ivory hunters and traders. The Portuguese, however, were not
to settle in Rhodesia. Intense competition with the Monomatapa, and Karanga
people may have led to the Portuguese defeat. Portugal was a declining power
during much of its African adventures and in 1580 fell under the rule of
Spain for the next sixty years. In 1629, the Monomatapa tried to eject the
Portuguese, in the end the tribes joined and wiped out the settlers in 1693,
thus ending Portuguese settlements in Rhodesia.

The hunter Adam Render(s) born in Germany 1822, arrived in Natal in the
1840's via America and settled in the Zoutpansberg district where he raised
a family. They often ventured up to Northern Rhodesia to trade with the
natives. To the locals Render was known as Sadama. Render's son Hendrik
Jacobus born in 1869 said that the ruins were unexpectedly come upon in
1867 by his father Adam. Mrs Renders visited the ruins and was probably the
first white woman to see them but she refused to settle there so far from
civilisation. Renders returned to Southern Rhodesia in 1869 and settled
without his family, where Morgenster mission stands today. He lived there
with chief Bika's daughter, with whom he fathered a child. Chief Bika was a
village headman under Chief Charumbira who resided near the Bondolfi Mission
on the western foot of Chigaramboni Mountain.

(excavations were carried out by on the Mountain by the late curator of
Great Zimbabwe, Mrs Lilian Hodges and later by the conservation department
at Zimbabwe these records are kept at the Great Zimbabwe Conservation

The hunter Adam Renders is supposed to have shown the German geologist Carl
Mauch the ruins under the cover of darkness due to the unfriendliness of the
natives. These were the days of the great Elephant hunters, Frederick Hugh
Barber and Hendrik Van Zyl (murdered by bushmen). They massacred elephants
throughout Bechuanaland and Ndawanaland (Ngamiland-Lake Ngami). Before them
was Gordon Cumming 1850s and Henry Hartley in the 1860s.

Ivory was plentiful then, so much so the natives would fence their kraals
with it. Another trader and Hunter George Arthur "Elephant Philips" a
strapping English fellow, was an old resident of Matabeleland from the
1860's. In '67 he travelled from the Matopo hills to find the ancient
mysterious ruins. Merensky in '62 nearly made it to the ruins from the
Transvaal, but had to turn back due to illness within his party. Carl Mauch
it is presumed received the Information from Merensky on the whereabouts of
Zimbabye. Mauch wrote a book where he recorded his meeting with the hunter
Renders and their secret visits by night to the ruins, secret because they
feared opposition from the local's, who regarded the ruins with
superstitious awe. This book helped to fire the imagination of both Harry
and his elder brother Willie Posselt etc etc

Sometime after the column's arrival in '93, Adam's son went in search of his
father and learned that he had been shot by a poison arrow in the shoulder,
prior to this may have buried treasure not far from the ruins. Adam Render's
fate is somewhat of a mystery, he may have died near Zimbabye! At
Chigaramboni Mountain perhaps? his son Hendrik settled in the Plumtree area.

Ellenton Fry had the privilege of taking the first photographs of the ruins
soon after the column's initial arrival. Tail's of the conical tower being
the mark, under which ancient treasures were buried, led to it being
excavated, several investigated this possibility to no avail. The Chartered
company appointed a caretaker to the ruins in 1890.

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