The Past is Present : Archaeological sites and identity formation in Southern Africa
This thesis deals with the connection between archaeological sites and
processes of identity formation in Southern Africa, as expressed in relation to the Twyfelfontein rock art site and Great Zimbabwe, and, to some extent, the White Lady site. The aim is to understand in what ways people think of, and identify with, archaeological monuments. The Twyfelfontein rock art site is presented in the form of a case study, based on my own fieldwork of 2004, while the descriptions of the other sites derive from literary sources. The theoretical discussion on identity, and ethnic identity in particular, is central to this thesis. In analysing the conditions of the different archaeological sites, a discursive approach is taken in order to
highlight the way perceptions of the past, and people’s identities, are dependant upon social and political processes.
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