Archaeologists from across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region gathered in Kimberley to share research.

The Association for Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) is calling for increased funding for projects.

“The state of archaeology in South Africa could be stronger, but we’re a strong group, but we would like to grow much more. So we need much more funding to actually establish these links that we have to the past,”says ASAPA chairperson Sarag Wurtz.

South Africa is a dream for any archaeologist as the earliest humans have been discovered in various parts of South Africa.

The biennial conference is the largest meeting of archaeologists working in Southern Africa. It’s a report back on all stages of archaeology; from the Stone Age to the Iron Age on heritage and rock art.

Dr Morongwe Mosothwana is an archaeologist from Botswana. She believes there is room for Southern African archaeology to grow.

“The Southern African archaeology is still at its infancy. There is a lot of technology coming into archaeology now; there is a lot of new methodology that is being developed over the world that we now have to apply in our archaeological record. There are new theories that are coming up within the region and outside the region that make us now rethink what we have always believed about our archaeology.”

Archaeological heritage such as rock art plays a big part in Northern Cape tourism. Northern Cape Tourism Board Chairperson, Collin Fortune, has welcomed the gathering of archaeologists as a boost to the sector.

“Our archaeological heritage is critical to us and the numbers of people coming will in future expand our business tourism, heritage tourism, especially with the focus on archaeology.”

The archaeologists hope to see the subject being part of the school curriculum.