Faunal remains from Murahwa’s hill in Manyikaland, Eastern Zimbabwe: an archaeozoological investigation

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
The project analyses faunal materials recovered from excavation at the site of munahwa’s Hill in East Zimbabwe. Broadly, taxonomic representation, relative abundance and socio-cultural aspects as well as paleo environment were investigated. Murahwa’s Hill was compared with another site in the same region known as Mountain Muozi (Mt.Muozi). The two sites are associated with important socio-political development in eastern Zimbabwe and broadly date to the same archaeological period. The former has been dated to the mid-15th century AD and the latter was dated between 15th and 18th centuries AD. Analysis of faunal remains was carried out using comparative materials at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria, South Africa. Reconnaissance surveys were conducted in order to study the physiographic setting and context of the materials. This was important since a description of local environmental characteristics clearly relates to the archaeology of the two sites. Ethnographic investigations formed another important component of the research for reconstruction of cultural and symbolic aspects relating to communities animal meat economy because faunal remains included worked bone. The faunal assemblage showed that Murahwa’s Hill community exploited both domestic and wild species. Comparative analysis showed major variations in substance strategies for the two sites. NISP and MNI counts indicated that at Murahwa’s Hill, herding and hunting played an equally important role, while at Mt. Muozi, meat economy was mainly based on domesticates. It implies that herding played a highly important role in subsistence strategies for the inhabitants. Inferences were made on the pale environment of the area. The research has shown the importance of faunal studies in our understanding of the archaeology of Manyikaland. However, while some new data may have been generated, some questions remain partially or not answered and new questions, which call for further research, have presented themselves.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark ( THS EAF CC75.Z55S34)
Archaeological surveying, Excavations, Animal fossils, Animals, Fossils-Zimbabwe
Shenjere, P (2006) Faunal remains from Murahwa’s hill in Manyikaland, Eastern Zimbabwe: an archaeozoological investigation, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam