There is nothing mind boggling about why that civilisation disappeared Moananong, many much bigger civilisations even empires have come and gone, from the Babylonians, Persians, Aztecs, Incas to even bigger ones like the Roman empire and the Mongolian one which covered half the world at one point.<quoted text>
Well - If they were as smart as you assert I would surely know them. According to the information I got through googling as you suggested, there does seem to be evidence of smithing of gold by the Mapungubwe WHO THEN dissapeared in thin air. It really eludes my mind why a tribe that knew so much about the value of gold would not expand and thrive to become one of Africa's wealthy nations. If your assertion is anything to go by...why would they trade something with so much value - in exchange of what really...mirrors perhaps?
WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM...isnt this quite a mystery - a nation blessed with that amount of wisdom dissapearing without a trace. mind boggling...
No ancient civilisation or empire has stood the test of time as there's many other factors involved other that wealthy, that you can mine gold doesn't mean much especially at that time as the market commodities for the area then would have been more in the form of lifestock.