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The Silence of Great Zimbabwe


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Table of Contents

* The Silence of Unrepresented Pasts at Great Zimbabwe* The Zimbabwe Controversy and the power of 'fact' over 'fiction'* Great Zimbabwe in local 'history-scapes'* 'Traditional Connoisseurs' of the past* The Silence of Great Zimbabwe: From mystery and untold stories to a silence of anger; Part Two: The silence of Anger at Great Zimbabwe* Silence, Destruction and Closure at Great Zimbabwe* 'Let us fight and rebuild': Nationalism and Great Zimbabwe* 'Mapfupa edu achamuka' [Our bones will rise]: Nationalist Mythology of the first Chimurenga* NMMZ and Great Zimbabwe: The professionalisation of heritage management; UNESCO and the power of world heritage* Patriotic history and Great Zimbabwe: Beyond 2000

About the Author

Joost Fontein is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Anthropology at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh.


'Fontein does an excellent job of describing the ways in which different groups of actors, from the clan chiefs and leaders who contest preeminence at Great Zimbabwe in historical terms, to the archaeologists and curators of National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe who situate the site in contexts of science, nationalism and the economics of tourism, collide and cooperate... [He] has written an important book about the roles that Great Zimbabwe plays in Zimbabwe, the controversies that still swirl around it, and the way in which communities in the area see this place--not merely as an archaeological site, but as a place of continuing religious and historical significance. The value of this approach is not restricted to Zimbabwe, and The Silence of Great Zimbabwe should be read by any archaeologist or heritage manager working on the continent today.' American Antiquity 'Fontein's careful attention to multivocality offers the reader an unprecedented appreciation for the personal and political motivations of each and every stakeholder, and, ultimately, for the fact that the silence of Great Zimbabwe represents a broader problematic that looms over the contemporary horizon of historical discourse as it enters into the field of tourism-driven heritage.' Journal of African History Vol 49, 2008 'This book provides the essential, pioneering platform upon which all future studies will surely build... This book is a good beginning. Hopefully, it will encourage a re-thinking of the current management approach to the site. Zimbabweanist archaeologists and historians can take note and present inclusive and representative local histories that are relevant to those who matter the most-the people of Zimbabwe.' Paul Hubbard, South African Archaeological Bulletin

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