The Association for Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that exists for the purpose of establishing, maintaining and promoting archaeology in southern Africa. Archaeology is now recognised as an important component of our heritage, but that heritage is increasingly threatened by urban development.
Professional archaeologists have a crucial role to play in studying, preserving and promoting our archaeological heritage. The origins of ASAPA lie with the Southern
African Association of Archaeologists (SA3), which was established in 1970 to encourage the training of archaeologists and to promote archaeological heritage in southern Africa.
In response to the changing status of archaeology and the increasing professionalisation of its practitioners, the membership of SA3 decided to become a formal professional body in 2004. Today, the association’s membership is comprised of over 246 professional archaeologists and others in related fields, based in southern African and beyond.
As a professional body, ASAPA is committed to the development of archaeological research, management (including conservation, curation, archaeotourism and restoration), outreach and the exchange of archaeological expertise and information, in and beyond southern Africa.
Aims and goals
- to establish and sustain a network for all professional archaeologists, archaeological technicians and persons who work in fields affiliated with archaeology in southern Africa
- to function as a monitoring and advisory body on issues relating to southern African archaeology
- to contribute to public initiatives, education and training concerning archaeology and cultural heritage management
- to establish and promote a mechanism to represent professional archaeological interests in legislative, political, economic and public forums
- to promote and encourage the acquisition, exchange and spread of archaeological knowledge and information in the region
To this end, ASAPA organises conferences and workshops to allow extended discussion of issues relating to southern African archaeology such as the Biennial Meeting, and CRM workshops. ASAPA representatives (as designated by Council) may also participate in wider public forums. In addition, ASAPA provides an editorial team for the South African Archaeological Bulletin (SAAB) and Goodwin
Series and publishes them in conjunction with the South African Archaeological Society. Members receive the SAAB as one of their membership benefits.