The Kingdom of Mapungubwe (c. 1075–c. 1220) was a medieval state in South Africa located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, south of Great Zimbabwe. The name is derived from either TjiKalanga and Tshivenda. The name might mean "Hill of Jackals" or "stone monuments".
The kingdom was the first stage in a development that would culminate in the creation of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe in the 13th century, and with gold trading links to Rhaptaand Kilwa Kisiwani on the African east coast.
The Kingdom of Mapungubwe lasted about 80 years, and at its height the capital's population was about 5000 people.
This archaeological site can be attributed to the BuKalanga Kingdom, which comprised the Kalanga people from northeast Botswana and western/central southern Zimbabwe, the Nambiya south of the Zambezi Valley, and the Vha Venda in the northeast of South Africa. The Mapungubwe Collection of artifacts found at the archaeological site is housed in the Mapungubwe Museum in Pretoria.