u:africa talk - Climate and Environment Change in Africa, 1000-1850 AD: What Happened to Great Zimbabwe?

05.12.2023 17:15

Speaker: Innocent Pikirayi, University of Pretoria

This lecture synthesizes climate and environment change in Africa from the High Middle Ages, post 1000 AD, to the Late Middle Ages and a few centuries after. Focusing on Great Zimbabwe, it demonstrates how water management increasingly became important in sustaining some ancient complex societies. This implicates the Little Ice Age, calling for a reconsideration of such events in understanding the present human condition. There is need to engage the public in discussing local, African experiences of climate and environment change, past and present. Such dialogues are vital in generating knowledges that enrich scholarly understanding of the human condition in the longue durée.

Innocent Pikirayi is professor in archaeology at the University of Pretoria, specialising on ancient complex societies. He has conducted geoarchaeological investigations at Great Zimbabwe to map its water resources. He is co-editor (with Federica Sulas) of Water and Society from Ancient Times to the Present Resilience, Decline, and Revival (Routledge, 2018). He also conducted archaeological fieldwork on the slopes of Kilimanjaro to understand the present human condition. In 2017, he was appointed ambassador of Antiquity: A Review of World Archaeology, to mentor emerging scholars in Africa.

Chair: Kirsten Rüther

Tuesday, 5th December 2023, 5:15 pm
Department of African Studies - Seminar room 1

University Campus, court 5.1.,  Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna
afrika@univie.ac.at,  afrika.univie.ac.at