One type of common artifact found in the Zimbabwe ruins was “perforated clay disks”. Archaeologists believe they were spinning wheels, but “they could have other uses.”If PCs found, among the ruins, a bunch of perforated clay disks, what interesting mystery could they pose? If the PCs find out that they’re spinning wheels, that will be kind of a dud mystery. Some magical or ritual significance is in order.
When you spin the disks, using some wood and string contraption (sold separately), the disks emit a ghostly wail. When spun at the right speed, they allow communication with the dead.
Why, then, are there so many of the disks, found all over the ruin? You’d think you’d only need a couple, probably found in the temple.
Perhaps every reasonably rich person has a personal clay disk made, which is keyed to the owner’s voice. After someone’s death, his or her loved ones can ask them important questions “Who killed you? Do you love me? Who gets the armoire?” for a few days before the person’s soul journeys on.
The people who lived in this ruin must have been really into ancestors and death. They’re starting to sound like dwarves. Yeah, gotta be dwarves.