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Meet the Drum ‘Stone’of Shabanzi
August 31, 2006
August 31, 2006 Issue #0018


Written by Enestle Zimba,
Founding Editor
Africa’s Best Kept Secret Ezine
(c) copyright 2006 Zambia African


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================== TABLE OF CONTENTS ===================

o Africa’s Best Kept Secret
o Just My Thoughts
o Resource Centre
o Free Trials


o Why is Zambia Safari Africa’s best kept secret?

... Because of the myths, the mysteries and the Zambian

Read to learn one more interesting story about the
mystery of Zambia safari.

Mid-way between Lusaka the capital city of Zambia
and Livingstone Zambia’s tourist capital there is a
thriving little town called Monze. In addition to
its beauty Monze hosts a small museum. If you take
to the road driving north out of Monze you will
eventually arrive at a great birders paradise.

This is Lochinvar National Park and Zambia’s largest
bird sanctuary. The Park is on the southern part of
the floodplain on the Kafue River and it is home to
the endemic black lechwe antelopes. Thousands upon
thousands of black lechwes roam about here.

At the turn of the previous century, specifically
in the year 1904, Lochinvar was established originally
as a cattle ranch. However, seven decades later (1974)
the Zambian government declared the ranch a national
park. But the original farmhouse still exists only it
is located just on the southern boundary of the national park.

Not far from the cattle ranch farmhouse large rock
outcrops have been exposed. These outcrops form a
knoll that trend along strike. The rocks constitute
what are called the Shabanzi Hills. It is the Shabanzi
rock that is the ‘mystery’ I talked about. But, one
would ask, how can rocks become a mystery?

If you hit the Shabanzi rock with any solid object
such as a piece of rock or metal it produces a hollow
sound as if the rock has a cavity inside it. This
happens whether you leaning against the rock, standing
or even squatting on the rock.

The sound produced is similar to what underground miners
listen for in solid rock in order to detect voids beyond
the face, roof or sides of underground tunnels. And I
should know. I have been a mine geologist all my life,
but that is another story...

When you strike at different points the sound the rock
produces is not the same but varies in tune, timbre
and loudness. The change in sound can vary even over
very short distances such as a few centimeters. In
other ways you can produce a different sound by
striking the rock surface in different places.

Striking the rock with hard objects held in both
hands in the same manner a musician beats the drum
produces a musical melody. Because of this musical
sound it is not uncommon to see many a tourist
enjoying unique sounds they produce with simple
implements such a hand-held rocks, metals or even
hard wood. It’s for this reason that the Shabanzi
Rock is called the ‘drum stone.’

But the question is. How does a solid rock of
Shabanzi Hill produce a hollow sound when struck
by a solid object?

One school of thought believes the rock outcrops
are hollow inside. But diamond drilling into the
rock found no cavity. The other school attributes
the sound to the mineral composition of Shabanzi
rock. Both premises fail to provide conclusive or
supportive evidence.

However, there is another important reason for
the popularity of Shabanzi Hill. A study on the
archaeological excavations at the nearby Qwisho
Hot Springs suggested that the Shabanzi Hill was
hiding archaeological secrets. Archaeologists
instituted excavations at the hill.

The investigation discovered the missing link
between the late Stone Age and the early Iron Age
in Zambia. In addition the archaeological dig,
which consists of a few pits, confirmed that the
ancestors of the present Tonga, the farming people
living in southern Zambia today had settled in both
the plateau and the floodplain of the Kafue River.
Before then it was thought that the Tonga had
originally settled only in the plateau areas.

Shabanzi Hill has remained an important archaeological
site. Its investigation has enriched the history of
mankind in Zambia. However though, the sound it produces
still remains a mystery...


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~JUST MY THOUGHTS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Archaeology has played an important part in Zambia’s
history. The existence of humans can been traced right
back, back to the Early Stone Age. The Qwisho Hot
Spring near Shabanzi Hills is one of the important
archaeological sites in Zambia.

Wood ash discovered in the excavation at Kalambo Falls,
Africa’s second highest falls, at 221m, is proof that
humans started eating cooked food a long time ago.
Barbecue or braii as the South Africans call it is as
old as one cares to remember. So we now know that our
ancestor prepared hot meat delicacies from time

Kalambo Falls is near a town called Mbala located in
Northern Zambia. The waterfall is the second highest
to Turget Falls found in South Africa’s Drackensberg

Ingo’mbe Ilede, the “sleeping cow,” near Siavonga is
another well known archaeological site. A huge Baobab
tree at this old site of civilisation fell down but has
to this day continued to grow by turning upright. On
approach from a distance it looks like a sleeping cow
with a raised head. It’s this shape of the fallen tree
that inspired the name “Ingo’mbe Ilede.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~RESOURCES CENTRE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~FREE TRIALS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Now let’s get on the safari in Zambia...

And keep on going on : -)



Written by: Enestle Zimba
Africa’s Best Kept Secret Ezine
73 Eucalyptus Avenue,
Luanshya, Zambia
(c) copyright 2006 Zambia African

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