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Contemporary gold mining in Eastern Zimbabwe: Archaeological, Ethnographic and Historical Characteristics

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modified on 19.08.2019, 06:14

This paper is based on a dataset that I collected during my doctoral research in Eastern Zimbabwe between 2015 and 2018. The dataset represents an anthropological archaeology investigation of pre-colonial and contemporary gold mining practices in this area and covers the period from AD 1300 – 2018. The fieldwork conducted consisted of archaeological excavations and surface collections which I carried out at three selected sites. Recovered material culture was then analysed using ethnographic analogies based on interviewing contemporary gold miners who were working near these sites. The dataset will be potentially useful to southern African archaeologists in giving them new direction on pre-colonial gold mining practices in a region where these have only been partially studied as appendages of iron production processes. The use of archaeological ethnography in this research also adds a multi- dimensional perspective in the interpretation of archaeological objects associated with pre-colonial gold mining practices in Eastern Zimbabwe.


Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research