Peter Garlake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Peter Garlake
Born(1934-01-11)11 January 1934
Died2 November 2011(2011-11-02) (aged 77)
Scientific career
FieldsArchaeologist and Art historian

Peter Garlake (11 January 1934 - 2 December 2011[1]) was a Zimbabwean archaeologist and art historian, who made influential contributions to the study of Great Zimbabwe and Ife, Nigeria.


Garlake began his career in African art and archaeology as a Nuffield Research Student, British Institute in Eastern Africa from 1962 to 1964, carrying out excavations at Manekweni in Mozambique.[2]

From 1964 to 1970, Garlake served as the Rhodesian Inspector of Monuments and was on faculty at the University of Rhodesia.[3] During this time his research focused on the early history of Great Zimbabwe, his research was the first to argue that Great Zimbabwe was constructed by the ancestors of the current inhabitants of the area, the Shona people, as opposed to being constructed by a non-African or outsider civilization. This research was opposed by the whites-only Rhodesian government, including the prime minister, Ian Smith,[4] and Garlake was forced to leave the country in 1970.

Garlake relocated to Ife, Nigeria, and between 1971 and 1973 was a senior research fellow at the University of Ife, where he researched the early art and archaeology of Ile-Ife. From 1976 to 1981, Garlake held an appointment as lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at University College London. Following Zimbabwean Independence, Garlake returned to Zimbabwe and spent the next ten years conducting his research on early Zimbabwean rock art.


  • The Early Islamic Architecture of the East African Coast (1966)
  • Great Zimbabwe (1973)
  • The Kingdoms of Africa (1978)
  • The Hunter's Vision (1995)
  • Early Art and Architecture of Africa (2002)


  1. ^ "Dr Peter Garlake: Archaeologist who ended the myth that whites built Great Zimbabwe". Archived from the original on 2015-05-21. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  2. ^ M. Sibanda, H. Moyana et al. 1992. The African Heritage. History for Junior Secondary Schools. Book 1. Zimbabwe Publishing House. ISBN 978-0-908300-00-6
  3. ^ Pikirayi, I. "David Beach, Shona history and the archaeology of Zimbabwe" (PDF). Zambezia. Harare: University of Zimbabwe. 26: 135–144. ISSN 0379-0622.
  4. ^ De Baets, A. (2002). Censorship of Historical Thought — a World Guide 1945–2000 (PDF). London: Greenwood Press. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-27.