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In January 1856, Livingstone and his party reached Zumbo, at the confluence of the Zambezi and Luangwa rivers, once a thriving Portuguese settlement trading in ivory and slaves. Livingstone found it in ruins with crumbling stone buildings. In his journal Livingstone imagined the scene in days gone by:

"The merchants, as they sat beneath the verandahs in front of their houses, had a magnificent view of the two rivers [...], the church at the angle, and the gardens which they had on both sides of the rivers."

Travels and Research in South Africa, John Murray, London, 1912. p. 398. (First edition 1857)

Livingstone collected around a field of coal in Zumbo and he also found metamorphic rocks, such as gneiss, and volcanic rocks, like basalt.

  • Specimen of dolerite with 19th century museum label: ‘Dolerite. Dyke cutting through the coal field west of Zumbo. Presented by Dr Livingstone.’

    Specimen of dolerite with 19th century museum label: ‘Dolerite. Dyke cutting through the coal field west of Zumbo. Presented by Dr Livingstone.’

  • Livingstone’s note written in the field for the Dolerite: ‘Dykes cutting through the coal field beyond Zumbo, westerward.’

    Livingstone’s note written in the field for the Dolerite: ‘Dykes cutting through the coal field beyond Zumbo, westerward.’

  • Specimen of basalt with 19th century museum label: ‘Basalt. Dyke cutting through coal field west of Zumbo. Presented by Dr Livingstone.’

    Specimen of basalt with 19th century museum label: ‘Basalt. Dyke cutting through coal field west of Zumbo. Presented by Dr Livingstone.’

  • Specimen of gneiss with 19th century museum label: ‘Gneiss with garnets. Country above Zumbo. Presented by Dr Livingstone.’

    Specimen of gneiss with 19th century museum label: ‘Gneiss with garnets. Country above Zumbo. Presented by Dr Livingstone.’

  • Livingstone’s note written in the field for the gneiss: ‘A broad dyke of this set on edge mainly runs parallel with Zambesi above Zumbo on south bank.’

    Livingstone’s note written in the field for the gneiss: ‘A broad dyke of this set on edge mainly runs parallel with Zambesi above Zumbo on south bank.’

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