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The King­dom of Mapungubwe in Lim­popo was a pow­er­ful South­ern African state which traded through East African ports with Ara­bia and In­dia be­tween the years 900 and 1300. Cli­mate change brought about its demise as de­creased rain­fall meant the land could no longer sup­port its pop­u­la­tion and tra­di­tional farm­ing meth­ods.

“The re­mains of this fa­mous king­dom, when viewed against the present-day fauna and flora, and the geo-mor­pho­log­i­cal for­ma­tions of the Lim­popo/Shashe rivers con­flu­ence, cre­ate an im­pres­sive cul­tural land­scape of univer­sal sig­nif­i­cance,” Unesco said. It joined the World Her­itage fam­ily in 2003.

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