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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

Date: Sun, 28/08/2016 -
10:00 to 15:30
Western Cape
The annual ONE DAY LECTURE SERIES of the Archaeological Society of the Western Cape and the Friends of the Stellenbosch Museum is entitled: "CLIMATE CHANGE ........Is your beach house 10 metres above mean sea level?"
By: Trans-Vaal Branch
Wed, 31/08/2016 - 00:00 to Mon, 19/09/2016 - 00:00
The South African Archaeological Society tour to China’s western Sichuan and Gansu provinces in April/May 2015 was a wonderful and very varied experience. Twenty-four members travelled where few Westerners set foot.
By: David Lewis-Williams
Date: Tue, 13/09/2016 - 18:00
Western Cape
The meanings of San folktales are not to be found exclusively in the surface narrative. Easily missed 'nuggets' - words and phrases that are opaque without deep knowledge of San thought - gave 'hidden' meanings to the tales. Some of these nuggets occur in San rock art as well.