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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:David Beach, Shona History and the Archaeology of Zimbabwe
Author:Pikirayi, Innocent
Year:1999
Periodical:Zambezia (ISSN 0379-0622)
Volume:26
Issue:2
Pages:135-144
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:Shona
oral traditions
archaeology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Anthropology and Archaeology
History and Exploration
History, Archaeology
Oral tradition
Shona (African people)
history
Beach, David Norman, d. 1999
About person:David Norman Beach (1943-1999)ISNI
Abstract:In 1970, the historian David Norman Beach, who died on 15 February 1999, set out a programme to collect and study oral traditions with a view to writing the history of the Shona-speaking peoples of the Zimbabwe Plateau. This project also dealt with the identity and origins of the Shona, covering the period before written history, or before 1500. The present commentary of a former student and colleague of Professor Beach examines Beach's understanding of and contribution to the subject of archaeology in Zimbabwe, including his use of Portuguese documents, both during the prehistoric and historical periods. Although Beach was not an archaeologist, he made a significant contribution to the understanding of Zimbabwean archaeology of the last two millennia. His approach indicates the value of multidisciplinary research in the study of the past. To Beach, archaeology was a long-term history rather than a science per se. The review concludes that the History Department of the University of Zimbabwe should groom its postgraduates in the field of precolonial Zimbabwe. Bibliogr., note, sum.
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