Dr Shadreck Chirikure

From Pindula
Dr Shadreck Chirikure
Shadreck Chirikure.jpg
Known forArchaeology

Dr. Shadreck Chirikure is a South Africa based Zimbabwean archaeologist. He is the Professor and Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town.


He obtained the degrees of MA Artefact Studies (2002) and PhD in Archaeology (2005) from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. His doctoral thesis explored the technology and socio-cultural metaphors associated with pre-colonial iron production in southern Africa.


Shadreck Chirikure’s Archaeological Materials Laboratory is Africa's only facility dedicated to the study of pyrotechnology practiced by farming communities of the last 2000 years of the sub-Saharan past.[1]

Examples of pyrotechnological material studied in the laboratory include metallurgical slags, metal objects, local and imported ceramics, plasters and glass beads. This research facility is dedicated to combining archaeological approaches with techniques derived from earth sciences and engineering to explore the contribution of high temperature technologies to societal evolution. [1]

The laboratory's research is currently targeting three areas: (1) investigating the role of mining and metallurgy in early state formation, (2) modelling the evolution of pyrotechnology within the last 2000 years of the sub-Saharan past and (3) exploring innovation and demography in the evolution of socio-technical systems. These areas are studied using material from prominent southern African sites such as Great Zimbabwe, Mapungubwe and Khami. In alignment with the laboratory's continental focus, additional material is also sourced from countries such as Malawi, Nigeria, and amongst others Cameroon.[1]


  • Chirikure, S. (2015). Metals in society: indigenous African metallurgy in a global perspective. New York: Springer.
  • Chirikure, S. 2010. Indigenous mining and metallurgy in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Chirikure, S, Delius, P, Esterhuysen, M, Mlaudzi, M, Schoeman, 2011. A. Mapungubwe reconsidered. Johannesburg: MISTRA.


TEDx talk delivered in Cape Town


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Shadreck Chirikure, University of Cape Town, Published: unknown, Accessed: 07 Oct 2019