The Zimbabwe Culture: Origins and Decline of Southern Zambezian States [NOOK Book]

Overview

Offering a unique and original perspective on the rise and fall of indigenous states of southern Zambezia, The Zimbabwe Culture analyzes the long contentious history of the remains of the remarkable cyclopean masonry, ranging from mighty capitals of traditional kings to humble farmsteads. Forming a cornerstone of the geographical lore of Africa in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, debate on the origins, development, and collapse of the Zimbabwe culture has never ceased, and with increasing archaeological ...
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The Zimbabwe Culture: Origins and Decline of Southern Zambezian States

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Overview

Offering a unique and original perspective on the rise and fall of indigenous states of southern Zambezia, The Zimbabwe Culture analyzes the long contentious history of the remains of the remarkable cyclopean masonry, ranging from mighty capitals of traditional kings to humble farmsteads. Forming a cornerstone of the geographical lore of Africa in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, debate on the origins, development, and collapse of the Zimbabwe culture has never ceased, and with increasing archaeological research over the twentieth century, has become more complex. Thoroughly examining the growth and decline of pre-colonial states on the entire Zimbabwean Plateau and southern Zambezia, Dr. Pikirayi has contributed tremendously towards the archaeological understanding of this extraordinary culture. The Zimbabwe Culture is essential reading for all students and avocationalists of African archaeology, history, and culture.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Since the monumental architecture of the Zimbabwe Plateau first became known to Westerners in the 16th century, speculation about the people that created it has been continuous and inventive. Tales of strongholds in the interior were taken home by the first Portuguese chroniclers of the Swahili coast, and their narratives became part of the geographic lore of the 17th and 18th centuries. In the mid-19th century, the lore was spun into fantastic and mysterious yarns about long-lost riches that lured adventurers and traders. Pikirayi (history, U. of Zimbabwe) aims to set the record straight by examining the growth of precolonial states on the plateau and adjacent regions, with a focus on the their historical and cultural development during the second millennium AD. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Choice
Pikirayi skillfully marshals archaeological, historical, environmental, and ethnographic data to explain social dynamics while telling an engaging tale of the rise and fall of these important feudal kingdoms.
— A.F. Roberts, (University of California, Los Angeles)
CHOICE - A.F. Roberts
Pikirayi skillfully marshals archaeological, historical, environmental, and ethnographic data to explain social dynamics while telling an engaging tale of the rise and fall of these important feudal kingdoms.
American Antiquity, Vol. 67.4 (2002) - James Denbow
Archaeologycal discussions of the Great Zimbabwe rarely attempt to cover both the formative and later periods of Zambezian prehistory. Pikirayi's book is a welcome exception in this regard and does a good job of not only summarizing the earlier periods of political centralization, but also continuing into the protohistoric period to explore the complex impact of Portuguese adventurism on the internal development and fragmentation of post-Zimbabwe kindgoms on the Zambezian highveld....It covers a tremondous amount of ground, yet remains readable and informative.
Journal of African History, Vol. 44 (2003) - Martin Hall
Innocent Pikirayi's Zimbabwe Culture is the latest synthesis [in the literature on Great Zimbabwe], and by far the best...Pikirayi takes his reader through the fascinating and often frustrating border zone between archaeology and history, all the while keeping his eye on the major theme—the unfolding history of the southern African state that had a key place in the subcontinent's early history.
From The Foreword - Dr. Joseph Vogel
Ever since the ancient monumental towns of central Africa first became known to Westerners in the sixteenth century, they were shrouded in 'mystery'—a mystification most undeserved that has often blurred their true significance in the history of African civilization. Dr. Pikirayi, from the unique perspective of one knowledgeable in the cultural and physical landscapes, as well as the archaeology of Zimbabwe, through the medium of current investigations and interpretation, unravels the tangled skein woven by some early observers. His is a refreshing, up-to-date look at the most monumental of the great autochtonous states of southern Africa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780585386492
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2002
  • Series: African Archaeology Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • File size: 23 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Innocent Pikirayi is Professor of History at University of Zimbabwe, Harare
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Foreword: "Ruins in a Wild Land"
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Background to the Study of Precolonial Southern Zambezia 1
2 The Landscapes of Southern Zambezia 37
3 The Pioneers: Early Herdsmen and Village Farmers 73
4 Cattle, Ivory and Gold; Traders, Chiefs, and Kings: Political Centralization in the Shashe-Limpopo Basin, 950-1280 97
5 Cattle, Gold, and Copper; Traders, Chiefs, and Kings: The Rise, Development, and Fall of Great Zimbabwe, 1290-1450 123
6 Kings, Conquistadores, and Rebels: The Mutapa State and the Portuguese, 1450-1900 157
7 Cattle Barons and Generals of the Southwest: The Torwa and Rozvi-Changamire States, c. 1450-1860 197
8 Merchant Capital, Karanga Migrations, and the Arrival of the Nguni and the British 221
9 Conclusions: The Place of the Zimbabwe Plateau in Zambezia 245
Bibliography 269
Author Index 287
Subject Index 291
About the Author 305
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