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Economic and ideological roles of copper ingots in prehistoric Zimbabwe
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, African and Comparative Archaeology.
2007 (English)In: Antiquity, ISSN 0003-598X, E-ISSN 1745-1744, Vol. 81, no 314, 999-1012 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As well as being modes of supplying metal, cross-shaped copper ingots in Zimbabwe are shown to be emblems of currency and status. The author dates them to the first half of the second millennium AD and connects the appearance of ingots to increased social stratification.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 81, no 314, 999-1012 p.
Keyword [en]
Copper, Ingots, Middle ages, Social structure, Zimbabwe
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96938ISI: 000252302700015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96938DiVA: diva2:171679
Available from: 2008-04-07 Created: 2008-04-07 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Minerals and Managers:: production contexts as evidence for social organization in Zimbabwean prehistory
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Minerals and Managers:: production contexts as evidence for social organization in Zimbabwean prehistory
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the Zimbabwean past, farming societies utilized mineral resources for their own use and for exchange to local and regional populations, as well as to markets beyond African borders. Successful agriculture was constrained by environmental hazards, principally unpredictable and often inadequate rainfall. Farming communities managed this predicament in various ways. It is likely that some groups used mineral resources found in the vicinity of their settlements to produce materials or items to exchange. The social contexts that defined the nature of mineral production and exchange altered between the mid-first and mid-second millennium AD, as social ranks emerged and political and economic systems became increasingly complex. The thesis is a commentary on how the motivation of society to broaden its resource base, to improve the benefits to households and to society in general, contributed to the emergence of leaders and, ultimately, of an elite class. The focus of the research is on iron and copper production because the author has examined gold production thoroughly in a previous study. Four published papers outline the history of iron and copper production in Zimbabwe. The papers provide case studies of the scale and social context of iron and copper production and exchange.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Archaeology and Ancient History, 2008. 55 p.
Studies in Global Archaeology, ISSN 1651-1255 ; 12
Archaeology, Zimbabwean past, farming communities, environment, mineral resources, mineral production, social organization, social change, Arkeologi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8588 (URN)978-91-976865-1-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-04-28, 2/1024, English Park Campus, English Park Camput, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2008-04-07 Created: 2008-04-07Bibliographically approved

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