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The Emergence of Social and Political Complexity in the Shashi-Limpopo Valley of Southern Africa, AD 900 to 1300

Ethnicity, class and polity

John Anthony Calabrese
Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology


This work explains the rise of social and political complexity in the area of the confluence of the Shashi and Limpopo Rivers in southern Africa between around AD 900 and 1300. In doing this, the author refinines the archaeological sequence of the area, in particular ceramic data, and applies and tests theoretical constructs relating to the relationshAs between ethnicity, class, social and political complexity and material culture. The theoretical emphasis of the study is on modelling ethnicity, class and social and political complexity at a more qualitative scale than previous work in the area, and therefore represents a step forward in southern African archaeology.