The cultural landscape of the Shashe-Limpopo Confluence Zone: Threats and challenges of preserving a World Heritage setting

Pikirayi, Innocent (2005) The cultural landscape of the Shashe-Limpopo Confluence Zone: Threats and challenges of preserving a World Heritage setting. In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting - conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China. [Conference or Workshop Item]


Download (210kB) | Preview

Abstract (in English)

The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, located in the middle Limpopo basin of northern South Africa (and extending into adjacent Botswana and Zimbabwe), has, since 2003, been placed on the prestigious World Heritage List. A management plan is in place, largely guided by South African heritage legislation and the various international charters for conservation and restoration of such world heritage settings. This presentation critically examines the heritage challenges and threats to Mapungubwe in the light of its newly acquired role in South African history. I argue that sound heritage management should take into account community concerns, as well as stakeholder involvement. The presentation shifts the management aspect towards some research institutions in South Africa, and discusses issues of restitution and repatriation of cultural objects taken from the landscape. In this context, the management of the cultural landscape is also about managing the process of change to take into account indigenous values. Evaluation missions conducted in preparation for the nomination of the landscape for world heritage listing overlooked this aspect, but can be fully integrated into the management plan.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Pikirayi, Innocent
Languages: English
Keywords: cultural landscape; World Heritage List; archaeological landscape; local communities; management; management plan; conservation
Subjects: M. WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 03. World Heritage List
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 06. Cultural landscapes
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 28. World Heritage
M. WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 07. Management plan
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, South Africa
UNESCO WHC Number: 1099
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2005, 15th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2010 07:22
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:14
References: 1. Cantwell, Anne-Marie, J. B. Griffin, and N. A. Rothschild (eds.), 1981. The Research Potential of Anthropological Museum Collections. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 376.

2. Chase, A. F., D. Z. Chase, and H. W. Topsey, 1988. Archaeology and the Ethics of Collecting. Archaeology 41:56-60.

3. Childs, T. S. 2003. Managing Archaeological Collections. Technical Handbook (available on line

4. De Villiers, H. 1968. The skull of the South African Negro. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.

5. De Villiers, H. 1998. Human skeletal material from K2. In The archaeological sites of Greefswald, A. Meyer, Pretoria: University of Pretoria Press, 283-286.

6. Eloff, J. F. 1979. Die Kulture van Grefswald: n argeologiese studie van die Ystertdperkkulture op die Plaas Greefswald, Dele I-V. Pretoria: Universiteit van Pretoria Dept Argeologie.

7. Fluehr-Lobban, C. (ed.), 1991. Ethics and the Profession of Anthropology: Dialogue for a New Era. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

8. Fouche, L. 1937. Mapungubwe: ancient Bantu civilization on the Limpopo. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

9. Gardner, G. A. 1955. Mapungubwe, 1935-1940. South African Archaeological Bulletin 10 (39)

10. Gardner, G. A. 1956. Mapungubwe and Bambandyanalo. South African Archaeological Bulletin 11 (42).

11. Gardner, G. A. 1963. Mapungubwe. Pretoria: J. L. van Schaik Ltd.

12. Goldstein, L. and K. Kintigh, 1990. Ethics and the Reburial Controversy. American Antiquity 55: 585-91.

13. Green, E. L.1991. Ethics and Values in Archaeology. New York: Free Press.

14. Henneberg, M. and Steyn, M. 1994. A preliminary report on the paleodemography of the Mapungubwe and K2 populations. Human Biology 66 (1), 105-120.

15. Henneberg, M. and Steyn, M. 1995. Trends in mortality and health status in South Africa over the last thousand years and their implications for the opportunity for natural selection. Homo 46 (1), 27-37.

16. Huffman, T. N. 1986. Iron Age settlement patterns and the origins of class distinction in southern Africa, Advances in World Archaeology 5, 291-338.

17. Huffman, T. N. 1996. Snakes and crocodiles: power and symbolism in ancient Zimbabwe. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.

18. Huffman, T. N. 2000. Mapungubwe and the origins of the Zimbabwe Culture, Africa Naissance: the Limpopo Valley 1000 Yeas Ago, ed. Mary Leslie and Tim Maggs, The South African Archaeological Society Goodwin Series 8, 14-29.

19. Huffman, T. N. 2005. Mapungubwe: ancient civilization on the Limpopo. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.

20. Huffman, T. N. and Hanisch, E. O. M. 1987. Settlement hierarchies in the northern Transvaal: Zimbabwe ruins and Venda history, African Studies 46: 79-116.

21. Lestrade, G. P. 1937. Report on certain ethnological investigations in connection with the archaeological discoveries at Mapungubwe. In Mapungubwe, L. Fouche, Cambbridge: Cambridge University Press.

22. McManamon, F. 1992. Managing Repatriation: Implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. CRM 15 (5): 9-12.

23. Messenger, P. M. 1991. The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? Whose Property? Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

24. Meyer, A. 1998. The archaeological sites of Greefswald. Pretoria: University of Pretoria Press.

25. Ndoro, W. 2001. Your Monument, Our Shrine. Uppsala: Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.

26. Rightmire, G. P. 1970. Iron Age skulls from Southern Africa reassessed by multiple discriminant analysis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 33, 147-168.

27. Steyn, M. 1994. An assessment of the health status and physical characteristics of the prehistoric population from Mapungubwe. Phd thesis, University Witwatersrand.

28. Steyn, M. 1995. A human pot burial from Greefswald. South African Journal of Ethnology 18 (2), 87-90.

29. Steyn, M. 1997. A reassessment of the human skeletons from K2 and Mapungubwe (South Africa). South African Archaeological Bulletin 51, 14-20.

30. Steyn, M. 1998. A review of the skeletal remains from the Grefswald sites. In The archaeological sites of Greefswald, A Meyer, Pretoria: University of Pretoria Press, 287-291.

31. Steyn, M. and Henneberg, M. 1995a. The health status of he people of the Iron Age sites at K2 and Mapungubwe (South Africa). Revista di Antropologia 73, 133-143.

32. Steyn, M. and Henneberg, M. 1995b. Pre-Columbian presence of treponemal disease: a possible case from Iron Age Southern Africa. Current Anthropology 36 (5), 869-873.

33. Steyn, M. and Henneberg, M. 1996. Skeletal growth of children from the Iron Age site at K2 (South Africa). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 100 (3), 389-396.

34. Steyn, M. and Henneberg, M. 1997. Cranial growth in the prehistoric sample from K2 and Mapungubwe (South Africa) is population specific. Homo 48 (1), 62-71.

35. Sullivan, L. P. 2003. The Curation Dilemma: A Mutual Problem for Research and Resource Management. In Protecting the Archaeological Heritage of America, Robert Drennan and Santiago Mora, eds. Washington, DC: Society for American Archaeology.

36. Sullivan, L. P. and S. T. Childs, 2003. Curating Archaeological Collections: From the Field to the Repository. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

37. Swidler, N. 1997. Native Americans and Archaeologists: Stepping Stones to Common Ground. Society for American Archaeology, Walnut Creek, CA.: AltaMira Press.

38. Thomas, D. H. 2000. Skull Wars: Archaeology and the Search for Native American Identity. New York: Basic Books.

39. Tsosie, R. 1998. Indigenous People's Claims to Cultural Property: A Legal Perspective. Museum Anthropology 22 (1): 5-11.

40. Vitelli, K. D. (ed). 1981. The Ethics of Collecting. Journal of Field Archaeology 8 (1): 88-89.

41. Voigt, E. A. 1983. Mapungubwe: an archaeological interpretation of an Iron Age community. Pretoria: Transvaal Museum.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics