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Department of Archaeology



Shadreck Chirikure holds a British Academy Global Professorship within the School of Archaeology at Oxford. He is Professor of Archaeology, Director of the Archaeological Materials Laboratory and a former Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town. Funded by the Ronald Tylecote Fund of the Institute for Archaeometallurgical Studies, English Heritage and the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Chirikure graduated with the degrees of PhD in Archaeology and MA in Artefact Studies from the Institute of Archaeology, UCL.

His research interweaves techniques from hard sciences with those from humanities and social sciences to explore ancient African technologies and political economies of precolonial state and non-state systems. Chirikure’s works draw interpretive flavors from African philosophies to revise concepts and to disrupt hegemonic thinking about the evolution of African technologies, their role in society, and to spur a critical reflection, over the long durée of Africa’s place in the world, and the world’s place in Africa.

This work is published in leading edge journals and books by top publishers. His book Metals in past societies (Springer) is the inaugural volume in a series that aims to articulate salient features of African archaeology to a global audience. Other influential works include Managing Africa’s heritage: who cares (Routledge) (co-edited with Webber Ndoro and Janette Deacon) and Archives, Objects, Places and Landscapes: Multidisciplinary approaches to Decolonised Zimbabwean pasts (co-edited with Munyaradzi Manyanga). Chirikure’s application of the framework of concept revision to reinterpret Great Zimbabwe will be published by Routledge in 2020.

Job Titles

Honorary Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Professor in the Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town

General Info

Not available for consultancy

Contact Details

Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town
P Bag 7701
Cape Town