Snakes and Crocodiles

Power and Symbolism in Ancient Zimbabwe

Thomas Huffman



Snakes and Crocodiles is the result of fifteen years of fieldwork and research, and is both the first to cover this entire area and the first to explore the symbolism of the ruins. Using contemporary and 16th century ethnographic data, Tom Huffman explains the layouts of the sites, the structuring of specific units, and the symbolism built into individual walls. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout, with line drawings, photographs, and maps. Although primarily of interest to professionals, the accessible style and presentation will also attract interested general readers.


It is the most ambitious attempt yet to understand the architecture of zimbabwe-type sites, and the wider social and cultural context in which they were constructed and occupied. - David N. Beach, South African Archeological Bulletin


Thomas Huffman is Professor Emeritus of archaeology in association with the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.