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Inside and outside the dry stone walls: revisiting the material culture of Great Zimbabwe

  • Shadreck Chirikure (a1) and Innocent Pikirayi (a2)
Abstract

‘Any study of Great Zimbabwe has to rely a great deal on re-examining and re-assessing the work of early investigators, the men who removed all the most important finds from the ruins and stripped them of so much of their deposits’ (Garlake 1973: 14). The authors have here done us a great service in reviewing the surviving archaeological evidence from this world famous site. They challenge the structuralist interpretation – in which different parts of the site were allocated to kings, priests, wives or to circumcision rituals – and use the architectural, stratigraphic and artefactual evidence accumulated over the years to present a new sequence. The early enclosures on the hill, the Great Enclosure and the valley enclosures now appear as the work of successive rulers, each founding a new residence and power centre in accord with Shona practice.

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References
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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
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