The 14th Congress of the Pan African Archaeological Association for Prehistory and Related Studies and the 22nd Biennial Meeting of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists will be hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa from 14-18 July 2014. The Pan-African Association of Archaeology and Related Studies (PAA) was established in Kenya at the instigation of none other than Louis Leakey, who became the organizing secretary of the 1st Congress, which took place in Nairobi in January 1947. At that ground-breaking Nairobi meeting, Johannesburg was nominated as the host of the second Congress, but the Nationalist government of South Africa which came to power in 1948 withdrew its support for this initiative and the second Congress went to Algiers instead.

The 2014 PAA/SAfA joint meeting will be held on the Braamfontein Campus of the University of the Witwatersrand. The aims are to bring together Africanist archaeologists and colleagues in a forum for the exchange of information and ideas; to create contacts between students, researchers and practitioners across Africa in multiple disciplines; to forge links and friendships; and to facilitate and promote inter-African collaboration.

To this end, the theme of the 2014 joint meeting is ‘African Archaeology without Frontiers’. The theme reflects a challenge faced in African Archaeology today, to transcend not only national and linguistic boundaries that separate scholars and researchers working on the same research questions, but also disciplinary boundaries between archaeology and the many other fields of study that can enrich our understanding of the past; as well as artificial boundaries within archaeology itself between the study of different ‘ages’, for example, that in reality overlapped and cannot be understood in isolation.

This conference will cover all aspects of African archaeology and all periods from the earliest hominins to the historical period, and the official languages of the conference will be English and French. The Organizing Committee is expecting over 500 delegates from Africa, Europe and North America, and among other things hopes that this joint meeting will serve to showcase South African resources to potential post-graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates from across the continent and beyond.

Call for Papers

On-line abstract submission for papers and posters will be accepted until 17:00 South African time on 31 January 2014. Presenters will be informed of the outcome of their submission by 28 February 2014.

Submissions by students for sponsorship will close on 30 November 2013. Winners will be notified in early January 2014.

Submission Requirements

Submissions may either be in the form of an oral presentation or poster presentation. Please specify the format on the abstract application form.

Abstracts must include institutional affiliations and contact details for all authors.

All abstracts are to be submitted online.

Specific Instructions to the Authors

The body of the abstract should contain a maximum of 300 words.

The font should be 10pt Arial with single line spacing.

The title of the paper should be in bold capital letters.

All abstracts should provide :

A clear statement of the hypothesis, research question or problem addressed in the paper

An explanation of the theoretical approach, study design or experimental methods used,

A concise summary of the major findings of the experiment, study, or project. Sufficient data/information must be provided to permit evaluation by the reviewers and public reading the abstracts.

Summary of the overall findings and the importance of the study/project/program.

Abstracts may be submitted in English or French.

It is the responsibility of the prospective presenter to confirm the date and time for the presentation prior to arrival at the conference venue.

Guidelines for PAA sponsorship for postgraduates in African Archaeology

The Pan African Archaeological Association (PAA) is pleased to announce a competition for conference sponsorship of postgraduate students delivering an oral presentation at the 14th Congress of the PAA in July 2014. The PAA will award 20 or more grants to cover travel, accommodation and registration costs for the best student papers on any aspect of African archaeology.


Applicant must be a full-time student seeking a Masters or PhD degree in African Archaeology.

Applicant’s paper must have been accepted for oral presentation at the PAA Conference. Papers accepted for a poster presentation are not eligible.

Application Procedure

When submitting their abstract online, students interested in competing for this sponsorship should write ‘APPLICANT FOR PAA STUDENT SPONSORSHIP’ in the “Additional Information” box

The deadline for abstract submission for this competition is 30 November 2013 (note that the deadline for all other abstract submissions is 31 January 2014).

Those students whose abstracts are accepted for paper presentation at PAA will be notified in early December 2013 and requested to send a copy of their conference paper as a Word or PDF file by email to the academic program director.

The deadline for submitting the conference paper is 31 January 2014.

The PAA Panel of judges will rank the submitted papers and will award the sponsorship prize to the top 20 or so applicants (the exact number of prizes will depend on availability of funds).

The decision of the judges will be final and no discussion regarding their judgment will be entertained.

The winners of the sponsorship will be notified on 1 March 2014.


The winning students’ flight tickets to Johannesburg will be purchased by the conference organizers, if required.

The organizers will also cover the cost of accommodation in Wits University residences, and the conference registration fee.

All other costs must be covered by the students.

For further information: