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Bringing Africa to Bristol

Kuumbi Cave, Zanzibar, excavating Pleistocene levels from 30,000 years ago Mark Horton / Sealinks project

Excavation of limestone cave deposits on Mafia Island Tanzania Mark Horton / Sealinks project

Press release issued: 19 November 2014

This week, Bristol will play host to one of the largest annual gatherings of experts in African archaeology.

The 11th annual African Archaeology Research Day (AARD) will, for the first time, be hosted by the University of Bristol.

The event is taking place over two days [21 and 22 November] in the brand new conference facilities at the ss Great Britain, and will include over 50 papers and 100 delegates, several of whom are travelling from Africa. 

Jointly organised by the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Bristol Institute for Research into the Arts and Humanities, in collaboration with The Brunel Institute, the conference will showcase some of the most exciting fieldwork and scientific research from the continent of Africa. Included are papers from four major European-funded research projects that are transforming our knowledge of African history and prehistory. 

The event will begin in the afternoon of 21 November, with keynote speakers, and will continue on the 22 November with a variety of talks, debates and panels.  A special section of the conference will focus on recent fieldwork discoveries from Southern Africa to Tanzania, Ethiopia to Mali.  Several of the papers will be examining climate and environmental change, and others span a time frame from a million years ago to the archaeology of the Atlantic slave trade. 

Conference organiser, Professor Mark Horton, commented: “Africa has long been neglected as an area of serious study.  Our conference will show what incredible new work is now being done, from cutting-edge science, to the story of human origins.”

Tickets for the conference are still available by contacting at a rate of £20 for undergraduates, postgraduates and the unwaged, and £30 for staff and independent researchers.  This includes entry into the conference on both days, refreshments and lunch on Saturday.

The conference is generously being supported by the Bristol Institute for Research into the Arts and Humanities and the University of Bristol Alumni foundation

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