Lost Cities--Vanished Civilizations
UNTIL RECENTLY it was estimated that there are around 20,000 mysterious stone ruins scattered throughout southern Africa. This was a conclusion reached by Roger Summers in the early 1970s after studying the work of earlier explorers like Theodore Bent, who did excellent research and wrote several books about the ruins. In 1891 Bent estimated that about 4,000 ruins were scattered in this part of the world.
My own research of the past several years, which includes thousands of aerial photographs and hiking through hundreds of kilometers of mountainous terrain, physically exploring thousands of these stone structures, has shown that there are well over 100,000 of these mysterious stone ruins. This estimate was confirmed in January 2009 by Professor Revil Mason, retired head of archaeology at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mason also suggested that there must have been an ancient population of well over a million people to have erected these structures.
The mystery deepens when we look at the extent and complexity of these ruins. These stone settlements are not merely scattered, isolated structures or small clusters of stone remains but rather large, densely populated settlements and communities linked by extensive agricultural terraces—all linked by ancient roads that seem to stretch from Mozambique to Botswana and probably beyond. The extended ancient settlement that connects Waterval Boven, Machadodorp, and Carolina covers an area much larger than today’s Johannesburg. While many of these settlements have been destroyed by forestry, farming, and road works, there are still breathtaking examples of these ruins with walls wider than two meters and three meters high. The entire area of ruins and terraces includes all the countries of southern Africa and covers more than 500,000 square kilometers.
But the latest scrutiny of the land using satellite technology reveals even more unbelievable results. No one could have been prepared for the staggering numbers of ruined structures we have discovered. The numbers are so large that they completely and utterly shatter any previous ideas we may have had about the mysterious and vanished civilizations, our ancient past, and the magnificent lost cities of southern Africa.