Karl Mauch

Karl Gottlieb Mauch
Karl Mauch
Born(1837-05-07)7 May 1837
Stetten im Remstal, Württemberg
(modern-day Germany)
Died4 April 1875(1875-04-04) (aged 37)
Stuttgart, German Empire
(modern-day Germany)
Known fordiscovery of Great Zimbabwe
Scientific career

Karl Gottlieb Mauch (7 May 1837 – 4 April 1875) was a German explorer and geographer of Africa. He reported on the archaeological ruins of Great Zimbabwe in 1871 during his search for the biblical land of Ophir.

Exploration and Great Zimbabwe

Some of the ruins of Great Zimbabwe as they appear today

In 1871, Mauch discovered the stone ruins now known as Great Zimbabwe, five years after discovering the first gold mines in the Transvaal. Mauch believed that the ruins were the remnants of the lost biblical city of Ophir, described as the origin of the gold given by the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon. He did not believe that the structures could have been built by a previous local population similar to those which inhabited the area at the time of his excavation, and so pressed ahead with his research. Further research on the site (including one of the first archaeological uses of aviation) illustrated that the structures did indeed have African origin.

Because of the ethnocentrism popular in the 19th century, Mauch and his contemporaries have been intensely criticized for their assumptions about the site by modern archaeologists. The Great Zimbabwe site is now considered to have been built by ancestors of the Shona people between the 11th and 15th centuries CE.[1]

Mauch died as a result of a fall from the third floor window of a hotel where he was living. It is uncertain whether the death was accidental or self-inflicted.[2]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Karl Mauch
български: Карл Маух
català: Karl Mauch
Deutsch: Karl Mauch
español: Karl Mauch
français: Karl Mauch
italiano: Karl Mauch
magyar: Karl Mauch
русский: Маух, Карл
suomi: Karl Mauch
svenska: Karl Mauch