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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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06 Jul 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.
06 Jul 2016
This study suggests that Homo naledi lived more recently than first thought  but the dating method is unusual.
20 May 2016
Why did humans leave Africa in the first place? Their migration could have been sparked by competition, climate change or simply a great hallmark of human nature, curiosity. Over the past 2 million years humans have proven to be a remarkably successful species.

latest events & activities

By: Dr Ceri Ashley
Date: Thu, 04/08/2016 - 19:00
Nineteenth non-conformist missionaries to the Tswana of southern Africa imposed very clear ideas around appropriate living and behaviour. According to their creed, the path to Christian morality and spirituality lay in personal modesty, humble, ordered living, and hard work. Accordingly, they sought to transform the everyday material experiences of the Tswana, including re-making landscapes, and re-ordering domestic spaces. This paper will discuss how missionary ideals were materially translated in a short-lived mission - the Lake Ngami mission of the London Missionary Society - in northwest Botswana.
By: Rebecca Ackermann
Date: Tue, 09/08/2016 - 18:00
Western Cape
Prof Ackermann's research focuses on understanding the underlying evolutionary processes driving morphological diversification in human evolution; in other words, how we have come to look the way we do.
Date: Sat, 20/08/2016 - 00:00
Our aim this year is to bring together specialized speakers in the discipline of archaeology to debate current issues.