ASAPA 2019



The Biennial Conference of the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) is to be held in Kimberley, South Africa, 3-5 July 2019. Hosted by Sol Plaatje University (Heritage / School of Humanities) in association with the McGregor Museum, it will bring together archaeologists and students from Southern African countries, along with Africanist archaeologists from around the world who collaborate in research in the region. Invited guests and keynote speakers will come from the continent of Africa and further afield.

Delegates would represent academic, museum, heritage management, community and commercial CRM contexts, for whom this biennial gathering is a key opportunity to meet and discuss matters of common concern.

Conference sessions would result in a sharing of research and debate reflecting the full range of southern African archaeology, from earliest hominins to the historical period, with topics including palaeoanthropology, palaeo-environments, Stone Age, food production, historical archaeology, theory and practice in Africa today, and more, reflecting the multi-disciplinary nature of the discipline.

Some sessions are expected to highlight new work at key Northern Cape sites such as Wonderwerk Cave and in the Karoo and Kuruman regions.

The conference theme, “‘I am because we are’: Indigenous Heritage in African Archaeology" references the African philosophy of 'Ubuntu' to ground perspectives locally and emphasise the necessary engagement of archaeology with its varied constituencies including communities where archaeological research is conducted.

The ASAPA conference was last held in the Northern Cape Province (McGregor Museum as host) in 2004.

Since then, archaeological research in the province has dramatically grown due to the recent establishment of Sol Plaatje University (SPU) in 2014. The university is committed to engagement with surrounding communities and its programmes give expression to a desire and ability to bolster local economic and community resilience, while enriching the lives and learning experience of students including many from under-resourced communities.

SPU was developed as a university with Heritage Studies and associated disciplines at its core. Formal teaching in archaeology began as part of this programme and a specialisation in archaeology would be one of the options when the Heritage Honours programme is approved to begin.

The ASAPA 2019 Conference will consist of three days of deliberations, 3-5 July 2019. Delegates arrive from 2 July (registrations etc) and workshops (e.g. students, special interest groups) may also take place that day. The conference would be followed by an excursion to key Northern Cape sites, which would run over two days, 6-7 July. The conference is expected to draw some 250 delegates. It is anticipated that there would be 5 keynote presentations and 160 academic papers (in an opening plenary and up to three parallel sessions).

1st Announcement and Call for Sessions

The Local Organising Committee for the ASAPA 2019 Conference, to be hosted in Kimberley by Sol Plaatje University in association with the McGregor Museum has pleasure in inviting you to participate in the Biennial Conference of the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists to take place 3-5 July 2019.

The LOC has chosen as conference theme: “‘I am because we are’:  Indigenous Heritage in African Archaeology”.  We invite you to suggest sub-themes and propose/organise sessions for the conference. Session proposals should be submitted by: 30 November 2018.

Please send session proposals to:

Additional information to be posted on the conference website:

Sessions may include/are not limited to:

Paleo-environments and climate change
Earlier Stone Age
Middle Stone Age
Later Stone Age
Rock Art
Hunter-gatherer and food-producing communities interactions
The archaeology of farming communities
Archaeo-mining and archaeo-metallurgy in southern Africa
Historical archaeology in southern Africa
Southern Africa archaeology today: theory, method and practice
Forensic and mortuary archaeology in southern Africa
Material culture and identities
Public archaeology, heritage and education
Heritage management in Southern Africa
Rock Art Heritage Management in Southern Africa (RAHMSA)
Southern African museums in the 21st century
Archaeology and development: issues and ethics
Archaeology and neoliberalism
Spatial archaeology
Digital archaeology

The LOC will make further announcements about registration fees and other matters, and issue the Call for Titles and Abstracts in coming weeks.

Additional information will be posted on the ASAPA website:

Please note the following dates:

- Proposals for Sessions deadline: 30 November 2018
- Call for posters and oral presentations open: 11 January 2019
- Submission of abstracts deadline: 29 March 2019
- ASAPA Student Day: 2 July 2019
- ASAPA Biennial Meeting: 3-5 July 2019

Contact:  Enquiries
David Morris
ASAPA 2019 LOC Secretary

First call for participants: Ceramics Analysis & Interpretation Workshop

2nd of July 2019, Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley

This is a first call for participants in a ceramics analysis and interpretation workshop to be held on the 2nd of July 2019, directly ahead of the ASAPA 2019 Conference at Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley. This full day workshop will focus on bringing together archaeologists working on the identification and analysis of industrially produced ceramics of foreign origin found on historical sites in southern Africa. The aim is to provide an interactive and collaborative space for participants to compare and contrast analysed ceramic assemblages from different regions and periods. The focus will be on ceramic collections, but we will also discuss their role in relation to associated artefact classes and site interpretations, as well as explore directions for further research. Participants will be invited to submit a short summary of their ceramic collections, with supporting contextual information, prior to the workshop.

Please contact Joanna Behrens ( or one of the other  organisers if you are interested in participating or would like more information.

Joanna Behrens,
Gerda Coetzee,
Antonia Malan,
Abigail Moffett,