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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: Brendan Billings
Date: Thu, 06/10/2016 - 20:00
For decades the concept that the mammalian brain is especially suited for complex cognition has been well accepted. In recent years, birds have been shown to match, or even outperform, many mammals on similar tests for cognitive ability. Birds and mammals evolved from reptilian ancestors, raising the question of whether reptilian ancestors may have already had the neural circuitries necessary for complex cognition. To date, the reptilian brain has not been examined in the same detail as that of the mammalian or avian brain.
By: Robert M Kaplan of the University of Wollongong, Australia
Date: Tue, 11/10/2016 - 18:00
Western Cape
The shamanic state is a human constant, arising from the substrate of the brain. Hunter-gatherer shamanism is based on altered states of consciousness, induced  by a variety of means.
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.