About SAfA

The Society

The Society of Africanist Archaeologists is an organization of archaeologists, researchers from associated disciplines and others who share an interest in African archaeology and African societies. Our membership is international, with participation from Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia, and is actively involved in research in many African countries. SAfA is an affiliated organization of the Society for American Archaeology and the African Studies Association.


SAfA publishes a bulletin, Nyame Akuma, which appears twice a year and which contains short reports on research projects as they take place around the continent. As a benefit of SAfA membership, you can order any or all of the following journals at a discount over regular subscription rates: Azania,  The African Archaeological Review and Journal of African Archaeology.


SAfA membership is essential for anyone with an interest in African archaeology, palaeoanthropology or history. Our membership dues structure is very reasonable, with special provisions for students and retired people and free membership for Africans residing in Africa.

See our Membership page for further information on how to become a member.

The Biennial Meetings

SAfA also holds biennial conferences devoted to African archaeology and related research topics. Since 1996, the meetings have alternated between Europe and North America, with two conferences held jointly with the Pan-African Association in Africa (2010 and 2014):

  • 2021 (To be held 15-20 August) University of Oxford, UK (webpage: https://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/safa-2020)
  • 2018 (18-21 June) University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada   (Archive & meeting abstracts, program sessions and proceedings)
  • 2016 (26 June - 2 July) Université de Toulouse, France (business meeting minutes)
  • 2014 (13-18 July) University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa jointly with the Panafrican Association (business meeting minutes)
  • 2012 (18-23 June) University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada (minutes of the business meeting)
  • 2010 (1-7 November) Dakar, Senegal jointly with the Panafrican Association of Prehistory meeting (program and abstractsbusiness meeting minutes)
  • 2008 (8-11 September) Frankfurt, Germany (minutes of business meeting)
  • 2006 (23-26 June) University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (minutes of business, and executive meetings)
  • 2004 (26-29 June) University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway (business meeting minutes)
  • 2002 (18-22 May) University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  • 2000 (12-15 July) Cambridge University, UK
  • 1998 (21-24 May) Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA
  • 1996 (3-6 September) Dymaczewo Conference Center, Poznan, Poland
  • 1994 (28 April-1 May) Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  • 1992 (28-29 March) University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • 1990 (22-25 March) University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  • 1988 (27 April -1 May) Sheraton Hotel, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  • 1986 (12-16 April) University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
  • 1984 (10-11 April) Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  • 1982 (6-8 May) University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
  • 1979 (21 April) University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 1977 (25-27 April) Braniff Place Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • 1975 (27-29 April) Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • 1973 (14-16 April) Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA
  • 1971 (April) Urbana, Illinois, USA

SAfA Book Prize 

The SAfA Book Prize is open to books and monographs, including site reports, in all fields of African archaeology, including ethnoarchaeology and the African diaspora, from the beginnings of the archaeological record to the present. Single author, multi-author and edited works are all eligible. There is no restriction as to language.

The SAfA Book Prize is awarded every two years at the SAfA Biennial Meeting to a book which makes an exceptional contribution within one of the following areas, or to a significant contribution in a number of them:

1) an important theoretical advance in African archaeology;

2) an important methodological advance in African archaeology;

3) a major advance in our knowledge of the African past;

4) success in taking African archaeology to a world audience;

5) success in breaking down disciplinary division in African archaeology, be they temporal, geographic, linguistic, or other;

6) success in championing the value of African archaeology within an African nation or community;

7) success in championing the protection and preservation of Africa's archaeological heritage.

Previous winners:


A. B. Stahl, African Archaeology: A Critical Introduction. Blackwell, 2005. 


P. Schmidt, M. Curtis, Z. Teka (eds.) The Archaeology of Ancient Eritrea. Red Sea Press, 2008. 


P. Lavachery, S. MacEachern, T. Bouimon, C. M. Mindzie De Komé à Kribi: Archéologie préventive le long de l'oléoduc Tchad-Cameroun, 1999- 2004. Africa Magna Verlag, 2010. 


A. Mayor, Traditions céramiques dans la boucle du Niger. Ethnoarchéologie et histoire du peuplement au temps des empires précoloniaux. Africa Magna Verlag, 2011. 


P. Mitchell, P. Lane, Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology. Oxford University Press, 2013. 


A. González-Ruibal, An Archaeology of Resistance: Materiality and Time in an African Borderland. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. 


C. Gokee, Assembling the Village in Medieval Bambuk: An Archaeology of Interaction at Biouboye.  Equinox Publishing, 2016.