Archaeology – From the Greek archaiologia meaning ancient is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through material, which includes artifacts, architecture and cultural landscapes that they left behind.
The Department of Archaeology at the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe is the research and conservation unit responsible for national monuments, archaeological sites and historic buildings in the region. It is responsible for several activities:
- the annual monument inspections of all declared sites in the region
- the design of exhibitions in the various museums in the region
- addressing public queries and those of researchers
- the restoration of dry-stone structures where necessary
- the maintenance of the regional register of archaeological sites, and
- the preservation of all buildings erected prior to 1910
The Department is responsible for two public galleries in the Natural History Museum – the Hall of Kings that displays a panorama of the history of Zimbabwe, and the Hall of Man which displays the development of humans from the early hominids to the present. It is additionally responsible for various smaller displays at sites around the region.
Collections in the Department include bone, stone, metal pottery, glass and shell objects obtained from excavations at various sites such as Hillside Dams, Old Bulawayo, Khami Ruins, Hwange and Matopos.
The prime Cultural Heritage sites for which the Department is responsible include: Khami World Heritage Site, Matopos World Heritage Landscape and Old Bulawayo or koBulawayo.