Human Sciences Department
"There can be no African history without archaeology" McEdward Murimbika
The Department of Human Sciences has a dynamic team of dedicated archaeologists and cultural heritage technicians specialising in multiple disciplines covering South Africa's past and its material culture. The main aim of the department is to make our past relevant and accessible to all South Africans through research and the curation, preservation and display of material culture collections. The department has a long and rich history in creating knowledge and an understanding of southern Africa's people and their relationship to the material culture that they produced and used.
Current research interests and projects in the department are diverse and include the history of hunter-gatherers and farming communities, rock art, Nguni history, and several curatorial and restoration projects. These projects include the cultural material of southern Africa in general and KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo Province, Northwest Province and Northern Cape in specific. Various approaches to understanding the people of the past and their responses to social change over the last 100 000 years are employed, including ethnography and indigenous knowledge systems, anthropological archaeology, experimental archaeology and various applications of science and technology. We regularly communicate new research outcomes and display our collections to diverse audiences. This is mainly achieved through educational programmes for the youth, up-to-date museum displays, public lectures, publications and conference contributions. The department is also involved in the production of the research journal, South African Humanities .