Society of Africanist Archaeologists

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The SAfA meeting will take place at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès ( The host institution is the TRACES Laboratory. The event is organized conjointly with Belgian (Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren) and Swiss (Archaeology and Settlement in Africa Laboratory, University of Geneva) partners. This meeting will bring together 400 to 500 presenters specialized in African archaeology coming from all continents.


Travaux et Recherches Archéologiques sur les Cultures, les Espaces et les Sociétés (TRACES)
UMR 5608 (UT2J, CNRS, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / EHESS, INRAP), Toulouse (France)

Director: François-Xavier FAUVELLE

TRACES is a research laboratory at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, CNRS and the Minister of Culture (Archaeology division). It has over a hundred permanent members and over fifty doctoral students. For the 2009-2014 period, the laboratory has to its credit more than 2000 scientific publications.

TRACES is a laboratory for archaeology and history that examines past societies over the long-term, from the earliest periods of prehistory to the medieval period, and across a broad geographic area in Eurasia and Africa. Members and doctoral students are grouped into several teams, including the "Africa Unit":

TRACES conducts around forty programmed excavations in France as well as fifteen or so abroad, half in the Mediterranean Basin and half in Africa (Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Togo, Benin, Ethiopia, Chad…).

TRACES is equipped with a technical and scientific platform during and following excavation, for the study and refitting of archaeological artifacts, analyses of the materials, experimental archaeology, imaging and geomatics.

Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren (Belgium)

Director: Guido GRYSEELS

The Royal Museum for Central Africa (MRAC) is internationally renowned as one of the most beautiful and impressive museums devoted to Africa. Since its creation in 1898, the mission of the museum has been to conserve and manage collections, conduct scientific research and disseminate information through the many museum, educative and scientific activities for the general public.

The museum actively participates in the sustainable development of Africa and also hopes to be a place for meetings and discussion on modern Africa and its current issues. MRAC also plays a key role in many project and international networks in which it contributes its expertise and knowledge. The scientists at MRAC produce more than 300 scientific publications each year.

As a museum, MRAC has an active policy for temporary exhibits. The museum organizes on average two new exhibits per year. It also contributes to the realization of over thirty exhibits abroad and in Belgium through the loan of objects and its expertise.

Archaeology and Population in Africa (APA)

Unité d’Anthropologie du Département de génétique et évolution, University of Geneva, Geneva (Switzerland)

Director: Eric HUYSECOM

The APA Laboratory develops projects related to human settlement in Africa, from the prehistoric period to modern times, and their relationships with climatic and environmental change. This research encompasses different approaches, whether prehistoric and historic (archaeology, zooarchaeology, paleobotany…) or actualist (ethnoarchaeology, ethnology, ethnobotany…).

At present, fieldwork by the APA focuses on two major themes: human settlement and its relationships with climatic and environmental change in West Africa and the ethnoarchaeology of ceramics, metallurgy and economic systems. Projects are currently in progress in Mali, Senegal, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

APA members are responsible for teaching students in the Faculties of Science and Letters at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.



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Update 17th june 2016   © Copyright 2015-2016 - Traces - University Toulouse Jean Jaurès   ≡   All rights reserved