Upcoming ArchSoc (The South African Archaeological Society) Lecture:
Political and economic interactions in the hinterland of the Mapungubwe polity
Dr Alexander Antonites
(Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pretoria)
Date: Thursday 15 August, 2013
Venue: Sci-Enza Building, University of Pretoria
Charge: ArchSoc and UPAS members: free
Contact Person: Pamela Küstner (012 365 3608) for more details
Complimentary sherry will be served.
The lecture is being presented in partnership with the student body, UPAS – the University of Pretoria Archaeological Society.
Hinterland communities are often cast as passive participants in regional metanarratives. Excavations on the Mutamba site yielded multiple strands of information that suggest the need to reappraise the accepted view of such societies as being inert and un-influential in regional dynamics. Research suggests that assumptions of domination, based solely on differences of complexity, are ill founded. Rather, the heartland’s interaction with hinterland communities was one of forging networks that were more concerned with the wealth of people than economic control. It is clear that hierarchy formation in the heartland co-occurred with the horizontal expansion of social relations through networking strategies in the hinterland. On a regional scale, this resulted in a society with a weak vertical control and a fluctuating, flexible system of horizontal integration.
Dr Alexander Antonites received his BA in anthropology and archaeology and his MA in archaeology from the University of Pretoria. After working as a contract archaeologist he joined UNISA as a junior lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. He received his PhD (with distinction) from Yale University. His current research emphasises social processes in the Mapungubwe political centre, concentrating on the smaller communities occupying the larger hinterland.