This study uses a multidisciplinary method of archaeological research to examine the structure of the society responsible for construction of Great Zimbabwe and related sites in Southeast Africa. Great Zimbabwe epitomizes exploitation of the environment in a way that sparks complex societies. Previous research on Great Zimbabwe was tainted with ethnocentricism. Therefore, the goal of this study is to re-examine the materials in an attempt to understand the context surrounding the building of this enormous stone complex. Specifically, I explore how the architecture reflects the society that built it. Since the study of Africa's past by the West has been problematic in the past, I also include data from interviews and oral traditions to build upon the archaeological and historical materials. This approach may provide a useful approach for Africans as they attempt to reclaim their past, and will be very informative in the study of complex societies in African archaeology.


Kardulias, P. Nick



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2008 Ashley Marie Jirsa