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Terraced fields near Lydenburg, Mpumalanga
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Patrick Carter and Patricia Vinnicombe sorting finds at Sehonghong in Lesotho in 1972

what we do

The South African Archaeological Society, also known as ArchSoc, is a registered non-profit organisation. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in archaeology. The Society promotes archaeological research in southern Africa and makes the results available to its members and the public through lectures, outings, tours and publications.


The South African Archaeological Society was founded in Cape Town as the Cape Archaeological Society in August 1944 by Professor John Goodwin. The aim of the South African Archaeological Society, as set out in our constitution, is to bridge the gap between professional archaeologists and people from all walks of life who enjoy the subject.
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The South African Archaeological Bulletin (SAAB) was established in 1945. It is an internationally renowned journal (ISI & IBSS listed) that publishes on all aspects of African archaeology. It has amongst the highest citation index rating of all world archaeological journals.

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Please read more to see a list of free archaeological resources currently available from the South African Archaeological Society

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Please read more to see a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the Society

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07 Sep 2016
Members who attended the Western Cape Branch One-day lecture series on Climate Change on 28 August 2016 were interested in reading further on some of the issues, particularly the Milankovitch Cycles that summarise the periodic changes in the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun which affect the build-up or melting of polar ice caps.
07 Sep 2016
The theory of Female Cosmetic Coalitions (FCC) is a new and controversial attempt to explain the evolutionary emergence of art, ritual and symbolic culture in Homo sapiens.
07 Sep 2016
Findings in South Africa show that innovation among early humans was not primarily driven by climate change. Up until now climate change has frequently been considered a primary driver of innovation in the Stone Age in South Africa.

latest events & activities

By: With Dr Jill Weintroub and Professor John Wright
Date: Sat, 05/11/2016 - 10:00
On the Trail of Qing and Orpen opened at the Standard Bank Gallery at the end of January 2016. The exhibition examines the history of a well-known article, titled 'A glimpse into the mythology of the Maluti Bushmen', published by Cape colonial official Joseph Orpen in the Cape Monthly Magazine in 1874. The article was based on stories and cultural information recorded by Orpen from a bushman guide named Qing in the Maloti mountains of what is now Lesotho. Since the 1970s, Orpen's article has become foundational to the interpretation of southern African rock art. But relatively little has been done to put it in the context of its times. This is one of the aims of the exhibition.
By: Janette Deacon
Date: Tue, 08/11/2016 - 18:00
Western Cape
This illustrated talk will report on a visit to the British Museum exhibition entitled "South Africa: the art of a nation" that will be on display in London from 27 October 2016 to 26 February 2017.
By: Outing led by Morris Viljoen
Date: Sun, 20/11/2016 - 09:15
This field trip is aimed at showcasing many of Gauteng's as well as South Africa's geological superlatives and geoheritage sites from an excellent vantage point, the summit of the Magaliesberg range above the Hartbeespoort Dam, which we will access by means of the recently re-established Hartbeespoort Cableway.