Going Public

Given South Africa’s divided past, WAC4 offers a unique opportunity of reaching out to the people whose history we study. It is all to easy for an international congress to come and go without making any significant impact on the public at large. Here, Sheryl Ozinsky writes about our public programme for which she is responsible, along with our public relations consultant, Thenjiwe Kona.

At the turn of the millennium the World Archaeological Congress will invite the South African community to share in the contemplation of landmarks in the long history of humanity. Through a series of workshops, fieldtrips and special events aimed at reaching teachers, youth, and tour guides, some of the following questions will be discussed. What were the common threads of 1000, 10 000 and 100 000 years ago? What will be the role of archaeology in the coming millennium? How has history been presented in the past? And how can new and invigorating perspectives be nurtured, offering a critical perspective on the human condition? We have termed this public programme “Future Past: Archaeology in Africa”.

For most South Africans, archaeology and its discoveries are as mysterious as they have always been. There are few popular books about our archaeological past. Debates concerning cultural identity, nationhood and the development of African paradigms of knowledge are meaningfully affected by archaeology; yet alarmingly fewer students than ever before are choosing archaeology at South African universities. A culture of critical enquiry and discovery is crucial to South Africa’s long-term development. Clearly, something has to be done. The Cape Town meeting of WAC can be the catalyst for the commencement and ongoing development of a teacher and youth training initiative that seeks to develop a strong and critical intellectual tradition in this country. Archaeological thinking can be applied to advance social understanding through the production of new knowledge and the creative application of existing knowledge.

Our intention is that researchers in the humanities and social sciences from historically disadvantaged universities will attend the Congress and will collaborate with key international figures to build capacity and to facilitate opportunities for research training. We hope that some international delegates will remain in South Africa for an extra four weeks after the Congress. During this time, and together with local archaeologists and a programme facilitator, they will conduct teacher training workshops and capacity building programmes with youth in primary and high schools in the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, Bloemfontein and KwaZulu-Natal.

In addition, a series of public seminars, workshops, museum programmes, field trips and special events will be co-ordinated in each of the areas. The programmes will be documented and a resource kit will be published providing teachers with historical background, pictures, documents, and classroom activities.

‘Future Past: Archeology in Africa’ seeks contributions, ideas, suggestions. For information contact Sheryl Ozinsky by e-mail or via the Congress Secretariat.

The Department of Archaeology at the SOUTH AFRICAN CULTURAL HISTORY MUSEUM (SACHM) presents a public programme to coincide with the WORLD ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONGRESS (WAC 4) CAPE TOWN.

Please join us at and participate in some, or all, of these exciting events!

A poster presentation highlighting the theme “Southern African Archaeology Today”.
10 – 14 January 1999, University of Cape Town.


A Workshop for Adults around the theme “Archaeology and Education”. This workshop will take place at the slave Lodge, 49 Adderley Street, Cape Town on the 15 January 1999 between 3:00 – 5:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served afterwards. For further details please contact Anwar Riffel. Please RSVP by 8th January.

Dept. of Archaeology, SACHM, Tel 461 8280 ext. 158 (or alternatively the PR Department at the SACHM).


A lunch hour series of videos on archaeology will be shown in the Lecture Hall of the Slave Lodge. 49 Adderley Street at 1:05 – 2:00 pm from the 11 – 14 January 1999.

Provisional titles include:

Dig and Delve
Sterkfontein, the story of our Past
Archaeology: “Discovering our Past” etc.

Dept. of Archaeology, SACHM, tel. 461 8280


A special children’s programme in conjunction with The Centre for Creativity Art Department, Cape Town College of Education. We invite primary school learners from grades 4 to 7 to participate in two Archaeology and Art Workshops in which the principles of Outcomes – Based Education will be observed.



TIME: 10:00 – 12:30

VENUE: Slave Lodge, 49 Adderley Street, Cape Town.

FEE: R20 per participant (include materials and a contribution to a bursary fund)

Children are invited to explore the intriguing world of rock art. we will learn about the origins, purpose and materials of this early from of art-making, and then will apply own creative in a similar way


DATE: 3 Febrary 1999

TIME: 10:00 – 12:30

VENUE: Slave Lodge, 49 Adderley Street, Cape Town.

FEE: R20 per participant (includes materials and a contibution to a bursary fund)

Children will discover how much we can learn from early artefacts, and how much they can teach us about earlier people and their culture. We will then apply this knowledge to our own Art-making.

It is anticipated that these workshops will be heavily subscribed, so please enrol your learners before 28 January 1999 by telephoning 1999 be telephoning 689 – 1176 and leaving your details on the machine. A first – come – first – served basis will be observed.