New pathways of sociopolitical complexity in southern Africa

Show simple item record Chirikure, Shadreck Manyanga, Munyaradzi Pikirayi, Innocent Pollard, A. Mark 2014-08-27T07:33:39Z 2013-12
dc.description.abstract Much is known about the economy and spatial organization of Zimbabwe culture entities of Mapungubwe, Great Zimbabwe and Khami but less in terms of their origins and relationship with each other. Based on little tangible evidence, it is believed and widely accepted that the societies based at Mapungubwe (AD 1220–1290), Great Zimbabwe (AD 1300–1450) and Khami (AD 1450–1820) rose, developed and eclipsed in tandem. A recent reexamination of the relationship between these settlements and related ones using local ceramics, imported artefacts, stone architecture and Bayesian modelling suggests this may not have been the case. The synthesis proffered revelations which temper the widely accepted assumption that sociopolitical complexity in southern Africa began in the Shashi-Limpopo Valley before anywhere else in the region. Firstly, there are numerous Zhizo and Leopard’s Kopje sites that predate Mapungubwe but contain prestige goods and stone structures dating from the late first millennium AD. Secondly, material culture studies and modelled radiocarbon dates indicate that Great Zimbabwe evolved out of Gumanye while Khami, like Mapungubwe, may have developed out of the Leopard’s Kopje. In fact, Great Zimbabwe was already a place of importance when Mapungubwe collapsed. Thirdly, Khami and Great Zimbabwe overlapped for over a century, before the latter buckled. Therefore, the evolution of sociopolitical complexity in southern Africa may have followed trajectories that are different from what the current understanding implies. en_US
dc.description.librarian hb2014 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Research Foundation of South Africa (Bluesky Research Grant: 85892) and the Programme for Enhancement of Research Capacity (PERC) of University of Cape Town Research Office. en_US
dc.description.uri en_US
dc.identifier.citation Chirikure, S, Manyanga, M, Pikirayi, I & Pollard, M 2013, 'New pathways of sociopolitical complexity in southern Africa', African Archaeological Review, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 339-366. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0263-0338 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1572-9842 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1007/s10437-013-9142-3
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Springer en_US
dc.rights © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013. The original publication is available at : en_US
dc.subject Zimbabwe culture en_US
dc.subject Sociopolitical complexity en_US
dc.subject Southern Africa en_US
dc.subject Great Zimbabwe en_US
dc.subject Khami en_US
dc.subject Mapungubwe en_US
dc.title New pathways of sociopolitical complexity in southern Africa en_US
dc.type Postprint Article en_US

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