Conditioned by local ways of knowing and doing, Great Zimbabwe develops a new interpretation of the famous World Heritage site of Great Zimbabwe.
It combines archaeological knowledge, including recent material from the author’s excavations, with native concepts and philosophies. Working from a large data set has made it possible, for the first time, to develop an archaeology of Great Zimbabwe that is informed by finds and observations from the entire site and wider landscape. In so doing, the book strongly contributes towards decolonising African and world archaeology. Written in an accessible manner, the book is aimed at undergraduate students, graduate students, and practicing archaeologists both in Africa and across the globe.
The book will also make contributions to the broader field such as African Studies, African History, and World Archaeology through its emphasis on developing synergies between local ways of knowing and the archaeology.
Table of Contents
Part I: Learning, relearning, and unlearning Great Zimbabwe
1: Unveiling a ‘confiscated’ past
2: Background to ‘Shona concepts’ and the Great Zimbabwe nyika (territory)
3: Biography of Great Zimbabwe: late 18th to 21st centuries
4: Chronology of Great Zimbabwe – relative, absolute, and integrated
Part II: Objects, their context, and meaning
5: Misha nedzimba: on households and homesteads
6: Hari, or pottery
7: Crafts, science, technology, and innovation
8: Exotics: fame, prestige, and value
Part III: Native cosmologies and ways of knowing
9: Rise and decline: resilience of Great Zimbabwe
10: Urbanism and statehood
11: ‘Reclaimed’ Great Zimbabwe in a wider context: from Egyptian pyramids to decolonised global pasts
Shadreck Chirikure is a Professor of Archaeology and Director of the Archaeological Materials Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town and British Academy Global Professor, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford.