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Many modern ideas about the history of African states are still due to colonial optics. It was formed under the influence of the first European explorers, who, meeting with the ruins of ancient cities, simply did not believe that Africans were able to build something so majestic. And even the authors of later studies often do not study the local experience, but simply use the usual, Western models, archaeologist Shadrek Chirikure from Zimbabwe, professor at Oxford and Cape Town Universities, is sure. Chirikure himself devoted his life to the excavation of Greater Zimbabwe, a medieval city-state. Read our retelling of an article about him in The Economist.