Tawanda Mukwende F'17
African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships 2017
Department of Archaeology
University of Cape Town, South Africa
An archaeological study of the Zimbabwe culture capital of Khami, south-western Zimbabwe
My research at Khami has debunked long-held narratives that argued for a Great Zimbabwe-origin of Khami (Mukwende 2016). It has now been established that Khami was a local development, most likely related to the Leopard's Kopje. Further, a tentative developmental sequence has been developed that saw the site initially centred around the Hill Complex and later expanding to other areas. However, more work is needed to test these conclusions. This will involve surveying, mapping and excavation of additional areas to collect datasets that will help refine our spatial understanding of the site, develop further the chronology of the site and also provide material culture for comparison with other parts of the site in order to expand perspectives on de-centralised commodity production. Additionally, legacy collections curated in the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Science will be examined, particularly from other Leopard's Kopje sites for comparison with Khami. Overall the research will add clarity to the origins of Khami and refine detail on the organisation of the town and its chronological development.