Memory and Cultural Landscape at the Khami World Heritage Site, Zimbabwe: An Un-inherited Past, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Memory and Cultural Landscape at the Khami World Heritage Site, Zimbabwe

An Un-inherited Past, 1st Edition

By Ashton Sinamai


192 pages

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Hardback: 9781138496385
pub: 2018-09-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351022026
pub: 2018-10-10
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This book focuses on a forgotten place—the Khami World Heritage site in Zimbabwe. It examines how professionally ascribed values and conservation priorities affect the cultural landscape when there is a disjuncture between local community and national interests, and explores the epistemic violence that often accompanied colonial heritage management and archaeology in southern Africa. The central premise is that the history of the modern Zimbabwe nation, in terms of what is officially remembered and celebrated, inevitably determines how that past is managed. It is about how places are experienced and remembered through narratives and how the loss of this heritage memory may mark the un-inheriting of place.

Memory and Cultural Landscape at the Khami World Heritage Site, Zimbabwe is informed by the author’s experience of living near and working at Great Zimbabwe and Khami as an archaeologist, and uses archives and traditional narratives to build a biography for this lost cultural landscape. Whereas Great Zimbabwe is a resource for the state’s contentious narrative of unity, and a tool for cultural activism among communities whose cultural rights are denied through the nationalisation and globalisation heritage, at Khami, which has lost its historical gravity, there is only silence.

Researchers and students of cultural heritage will find this book a much-needed case study on heritage, identity, community and landscape from an African perspective.

Table of Contents


List of Figures


List of Acronyms




Chapter 1: Khami: an Un-inherited Past


Chapter 2: Placing Khami

The Zimbabwe Culture


Great Zimbabwe


Chapter 3: Locating Khami: Culture, Politics and Global Setting

We are One: The Cultural Framework

Legal and Policy Framework of Creating Heritage

National Cultural Policy and Heritage


Chapter 4: Nationalising the Past, Internationalising the Present

Theorising nation, heritage and identities in Zimbabwe

Culture, Heritage and National Memory in Zimbabwe

Condensing the Landscape: Archaeology and sacred landscapes

Global Heritage?

Chapter 5: Un-inheriting Khami: The Conservation Process

Understanding Dry Stone Walling

The Architecture of Khami

Conservation History of Khami

Khami World Heritage Site Management Plan 1999-2004


Chapter 6: Distancing the Cultural Landscape: The Socio-Cultural Process

Chapter 7: Old bottles and New Wines: Forgotten sites and ‘New Remembering’

Chapter 8: Re-engaging debris: Understanding the Cultural Landscape at Khami



About the Author

Ashton Sinamai is a Zimbabwean archaeologist who is currently an Adjunct Research Fellow with the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University, Australia. Previously, he was a Marie Curie Experienced Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, UK. Ashton has done some work in eastern and southern Africa and has published widely on heritage studies in these regions. He obtained his PhD in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies at Deakin University, Australia, and acquired an understanding of other perceptions of heritage among the people who live near Great Zimbabwe, where he grew up and later worked as an archaeologist for National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe. He has also worked as Chief Curator for the Namibian Museum. Ashton is a co-editor of Journal of African Cultural Heritage Studies.

About the Series

Archaeology & Indigenous Peoples

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology