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Photo of Bandama, Foreman

Foreman Bandama, PhD


Assistant Curator in African Anthropology at The Field Museum of Natural History

Anthropology, Archaeology


Building & Room:

BSB 2102


1007 W. Harrison, Chicago IL 60607

CV Download:

BandamaF_CV 2022


I am an African archaeologist who studies African preindustrial civilizations. I have specializations in ceramics, glass beads, archaeometallurgy and heritage studies. My work blends conventional material culture studies and archaeometallurgical analyses to explore the history, innovations and technological of African societies in southern Africa. I draw liberally from African theory and my lived experience as a product of a crafting rural Tsonga family from Zimbabwe.

Selected Grants

Norwegian Research Council, ARCREATE: An archaeology of creative knowledge in turbulent times, Co-PI

South African National Research Foundation, Y2 Rating Grant, PI

Selected Publications

Bandama, F. 2020. Preindustrial Mining and Metallurgy in Africa. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology: 1-21. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190854584.013.64

Bandama, F., Chirikure, S., Hall, S. and Tinguely, C. 2018. Measly but motley and manifest: The typological and chemical characterisations of glass beads from the Southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province of South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 18: 90-99.

Chirikure, S., Nyamushosho, R., Bandama, F. and Dandara, C. 2018. Elites and commoners at Great Zimbabwe: archaeological and ethnographic insights on social power. Antiquity 92 (364): 1056-1075.

Chirikure, S., Moultrie, T., Bandama, F., Dandara, C. and Manyanga, M. 2017. What was the population of Great Zimbabwe (CE1000 – 1800)? PLoS ONE 12(6): p.e0178335.

Bandama, F., Moffett, A.J. and Chirikure, S. 2017. Typological and technological attributes of metallurgical crucibles from Great Zimbabwe (1000–1700 CE)’s legacy collections. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 12: 646-657.

Fredriksen, P.D. and Bandama, F. 2016. The mobility of memory: space/knowledge dynamics in rural potting workshops in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 51 (4): 489-506.

Notable Honors

2020-2021, Future Professorship, South African Department of Higher Education and Technology

202-2025, Y2 Rating, South African National Research Foundation

2019, Best Research Paper, Antiquity


2010-2013 - PhD Archaeology, University of Cape Town (South Africa).
2007-2008 -Bachelor of Arts Honours Archaeology, University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)
2004-2007 -Bachelor of Arts General, University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Professional Memberships

2010-present: Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAFA)

2012-present: Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA).

2017-present: ASAPA Secretary and Executive Council member. Re-elected 2019.

2021: Chairperson and Executive Chairperson for ASAPA.

2022: SAFA Executive member-at-large, North America

Research Currently in Progress

An Archaeology of Creative Knowledge in Turbulent Times

Glassbeads and the Zimbabwe State

The metallurgy of Great Zimbabwe

Exploring the archaeology of the Zimbabwe state