ASAPA 2019 Biennial Conference

Sol Plaatje University & McGregor Museum, Kimberley

3 - 5 July 2019

You are invited to join us


It will be Kimberley’s pleasure to welcome ASAPA delegates to the 2019 Biennial Conference in this city. Twice before, in 1990 and 2004, we hosted ASAPA’s predecessor, the Southern African Association referred to as ‘SA3’. In the intervening years ASAPA has grown and changed, and so has Kimberley. And whereas the McGregor Museum was our venue previously, the city’s latest boast, the new Sol Plaatje University, is where we will assemble for ASAPA 2019. We look forward to having you experience this space, where heritage makes for a central thread in the university’s curriculum, and local pasts are reflected in the very fabric of its buildings.

Sol Plaatje University’s BA programme includes a three-year elective course in archaeology, inaugurated in 2017. This is more than appropriate in a region well known for its archaeological traces which span much of human history. Moreover, the opening decades of the present century have seen a florescence of research in Northern Cape sites and landscapes, so that new perspectives on Wonderwerk Cave, Kathu, Canteen Kopje, Driekopseiland, and other localities, with some of the issues surrounding them, will feature variously in the programme and in the itinerary of the post-conference excursions.

The conference theme of Motho ke motho ka batho (Ek is want ons is/I am because we are) – expressed in three of the languages spoken in the Northern Cape Province – seeks, through this kernel of African philosophy, this relational way of being, to foreground indigenous heritage in African archaeology, and to acknowledge local viewpoints in archaeological practice. Conference deliberations in plenaries and parallel sessions would address specific spheres of interest concerning Southern African pasts, sharing a wide range of current work, and engaging with the issues and debates, no doubt, attendant thereto.

It is you who will make this conference. We look forward to signing you up!

David Morris Secretary of the Local Organising Committee.

David Morris is Head of Archaeology at the McGregor Museum, Kimberley, and Extraordinary Professor in the School of Humanities at Sol Plaatje University. An Honorary Member of ASAPA, he also serves as a member of Council of the South African Archaeological Society. His doctoral work focused on rock art in the Northern Cape, including particularly the site of Driekopseiland. With John Parkington and photographer Neil Rusch, he co-authored the book Karoo rock engravings (2008); and co-edited with Ben Smith and Knut Helskog the book Working with rock art (2012). In a museological context, he has been involved in creating displays and site museums including the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre, and played a role in saving Canteen Kopje when it faced destruction by mining.

Keynote speakers at the Conference

Freda Nkirote M'Mbogori President of PanAfrican Archaeological Association and Related studies

Freda Nkirote M’Mbogori is the Country Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) where she joined as the Assistant Director in 2015. Formerly, she was the Head of Cultural Heritage Department at the National Museums of Kenya. She is an archaeologist with a PhD from University of Paris, France; a Master’s degree from University of Bergen, Norway; a Bachelor’s degree from University of Nairobi; a Post graduate diploma in museum studies and conservation from University College London, and a field research methods certificate from the University of Harvard.

She is currently the President of Pan-African Archaeological Association and Related Studies (PAA).  Dr M’Mbogori’s research on the Early Iron Age in Kenya is fundamental to questions about the origins of modern economic strategies, heritage, land use and identities. Her ethnoarchaeological studies of ceramic technology among potters of Mt. Kenya and Coastal regions, have enriched archaeological interpretations. She is also involved in the “African Farming Networks” project as a co-investigator, where she is looking at issues related to material culture of the Marakwet community. Dr M’Mbogori has been successful in writing winning world competitive proposals for research and Conservation grants from international funding agencies. Her last two grants have been given by Wenner Gren (USA) for research, and by UNESCO (Paris) for promoting pottery making in Tharaka, Meru and Mbeere.  Recently, she has received research funds from the British Academy (Global Challenges Research Fund), to conduct archaeological investigations on indigenous wells in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia.She is also an author who has published books with Cambridge and Oxford University Press, book chapters and professional papers in peer reviewed journals.  In her career, she has organized several workshops and conferences. While some of these workshops are of scientific importance, others are for creating awareness among cultural stakeholders. In addition, she has organized cultural exhibitions at the Museums with the last one featuring ‘Pots and Identities’. This exhibition received wide coverage on both the National television and main Kenyan Newspapers.

Paul Lane Professor of the Deep History and Archaeology of Africa

Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Professor of the Deep History and Archaeology of Africa at the University of Cambridge, was previously Professor of Global Archaeology at Uppsala University, where he still supervises post-graduate students and hosts one of his research projects. He is a former Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa and former President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists. Prof Lane describes himself as "an anthropologically and historically oriented archaeologist, who specialises in the later Holocene archaeology of sub-Saharan Africa."

He has lived in and undertaken archaeological and/or ethnoarchaeological research in Mali, Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana and has also undertaken field research in South Sudan. New projects are focused in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Senegal, Nigeria and Zambia. His interests include landscape historical ecology, the archaeology of colonial encounters, the use and role of analogy in archaeological interpretation, the materialisation of memory, maritime archaeology, and the transition to food production in Africa. On-going projects include collaborative research between archaeologists and pastoralist community organisations (Kenya/Ethiopia), co-production of community heritage networks (Tanzania), biocultural heritage (Mozambique), and the development of sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits of maritime cultural heritage for coastal communities in eastern Africa.

George HO Abungu Former Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya

George HO Abungu is a Cambridge-trained archaeologist and former Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya. He is CEO.of Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants and a recipient of Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art by Association for Research into Crime against Art (ARCA). He was conferred with Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts des Lettres) for his outstanding contribution to Heritage at local and global levels as well as the first African World Heritage Fund Award for his contribution to capacity building in the field of heritage in Africa.

Prof Abungu has researched, published and taught in the disciplines of archaeology, heritage management, and museology, culture and development and was Kenya’s Representative to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and Vice-President of its Bureau (2004-2008). He has been a scholar at both the Getty Conservation Centre as well as the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. He is the founding Associate Professor of MA heritage management, University of Mauritius and a fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Stellenbosch South Africa.

Alinah Kelo Segobye Dean of Faculty (Human Sciences) at NUST

Alinah Kelo Segobye is the Dean of Faculty (Human Sciences) at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She holds an honorary professorship at the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI), University of South Africa (UNISA) and is a Research Scholar at the African Futures Institute (AFI) and the Institute of Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) - Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa.

Prof Segobye was a visiting Scholar at the Rotary Peace Centre, Peace Studies (University of Bradford) in 2016. She served as Deputy Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (2012-2014). She taught at the University of Botswana for over twenty years where she was Associate Professor of Archaeology. She has extensive teaching, research and consultancy experience in African studies, HIV/AIDS; gender and development. She has authored and co-authored essays and book chapters on African archaeology, heritage, culture and development.

Conference Partners