Dr Nicholas Zachariou

Level 8, Humanities Building

University of Pretoria Private Bag X20

Hatfield 0028

South Africa

email: [email protected]


DPhil, University of Cape Town, 2017
MPhil, University of Cape Town, 2013
BA Hons (Archaeology), University of Cape Town, 2011
BA Hons (History), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2007
BA (History & Anthropology), University of Pretoria, 2006

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAfA)
Pan African Archaeological Association (PAA)
Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA)

Academic Profile

I completed my doctorate in archaeology at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2017,  addressing the biography of an archaeological site in the semi-desert Karoo region of South Africa through visuals, written text, landscape and archaeology. I started my studies at the University of Pretoria, majoring in history and anthropology, followed a brief sojourn for a postgraduate history degree at Victoria University of Wellington, before completing my studies at UCT. I have just completed a two year postdoctoral position at UCT under Prof. John Parkington, examining the role of archaeology in better understanding rural identities and in co-creating knowledge bases and food livelihoods in the Cederberg, Western Cape. 

My primary interests lie in the interface between the colonial and pre-colonial spheres, the associated milieu or bricolage, and how each interacts and influences the other, particularly through material culture, representation, and landscape use. Coming from a background in history and anthropology, I am particularly interested in how material culture meshes with social domains and understandings of identity, self and political economy, mainly among groups operating along the margins of both culture and history. 

I am also interested in how the public conceptualises archaeology and the past, and how academics and institutions can work better with communities in gaining a stronger understanding of each other and how each can contribute to archaeology and heritage studies. 

Current Research Project(s)

My current research project is titled,'Seeking the Rural Subaltern: Material Culture, Identity and Interaction in the 19th Century'. In it, I examine the archaeologies and histories of rural working groups in the northern Karoo and Highveld frontier areas in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is a negligible topic in archaeological studies, particularly when it comes to examinations of the material signatures of these groups, their identities and how these are expressed in an historic environment where their voices were often silenced. This project explores the relationships between identity, material culture and marginalized rural communities in the late 18th and 19th centuries, using a multi-disciplinary historical archaeology approach that relies on a variety of sources, primarily documentary and archaeological, to offer a novel and stimulating approach to archaeological studies of the last 500 years. 

Orcid ID


Recent Publications

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Published by Xander Antonites

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