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Honours students 2014 Great Zimbabwe trip

The 2014 Archaeology Honours students of UP went on a once in a life time trip to Great Zimbabwe this year.


The students also went to the Great Zimbabwe repository at the museum:

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They also enjoyed a guided tour of the entire site by Dr Pikirayi and what they learned was invaluable!


2nd Annual Humanities Day – Professor Pikirayi Lecture

Pikirayi-Innocent_009-webProfessor Innocent Pikirayi

2nd Annual Humanities Day hosted by the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria

Date: Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Venue: UP Conference Centre, University of Pretoria, Hatfield Campus
Parking: UP Conference Centre parking lot
RSVP by 17 September: Corena Garnas, corena.garnas@up.ac.za, 012 420 4895

 15:30-17:30 Session:

UP Beat: Critical Humanities Lecture Series presented by the 2014 Faculty Researchers of the Year:

‘GK Chesterton and the anatomy of the joke’
Dr Duncan Reyburn, Department of Visual Arts

‘The story of histories and the history of stories’
Dr Ronald van der Bergh, Department of Ancient Languages

‘Researching Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe – a ‘Blue Skies’ approach’
Professor Innocent Pikirayi, Head: Department of Anthropology and Archaeology

‘Access for a Silent Epidemic’
Professor De Wet Swanepoel, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

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Going to Great Zimbabwe!

The archaeology honours students are on their way to Great Zimbabwe tomorrow! Be sure to keep an eye on this page, as well as Facebook and Instagram for live picture updates from Zimbabwe (if we have signal that is)!

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New Article by Prof. Innocent Pikirayi

Stone architecture and the development of power in the Zimbabwe tradition AD 1270 – 1830 by Prof. Innocent Pikirayi

Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa
Volume 48, Issue 2, 2013
Special Issue: Monumentality in Africa
Published online: 26 Jun 2013

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This article can be found in the UP Online Library and on the Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa website.


Within the Zimbabwe Culture, stone architecture was not a mere reflection of the existing power of élites; rather, the process of creating architecture was also one of creating élite power. Creating architecture involved manipulation of the ‘natural’ environment, the elements of which were extended or appropriated to constitute the built environment. There is a clear relationship between architecture and ‘natural’ power, which provided links with the ancestral world. Thus, the construction of monumental architecture in the Zimbabwe Culture was a process of constructing social and political power through the manipulation of ideology, including the appropriation of ‘nature’. The Great Zimbabwe and Khami architectural styles express two distinct architectural forms with two distinct conceptual relationships to nature. Great Zimbabwe (AD 1290–1550) period architecture was apparently an extension of the natural environment, while Khami (AD 1400–1800) architecture arrogated elements of nature wholly transforming them into monumental built environments. Understanding these ideological differences is critical to understanding the dynamics of ancient states on the Zimbabwe Plateau.

Keywords: Great Zimbabwe, Khami, architecture, ideology, appropriation, built environment, domination

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