Between 26th June and 2nd July, in Toulouse, more than 600 participants from 17 countries were gathered at the 23rd SAFA congress (Society of Africanist Archaeologists). With 41 sessions in so many different topics such as: Origins and spread of food production, geoarchaeology, archaeozoology, pottery, megalithism, Rock art, Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Late Pleistocene human dispersal “Out of Africa”, African Kingdoms, Islamic archaeology, museums and archaeological archives among others. It was a great congress in an amazing beautiful, energetic city. But I always have the feeling in this huge meetings that I’m missing something… Because when you have to chose between sessions with so interesting and different topics there is always something you are not attending that would be wonderful to see. Never the less, for me it was a great experience in many ways. I realized we are quit more than I thought working in African Archaeology and Heritage and there are many students and new researchers that will keep on bringing new perspectives and methodologies to our area.
I was there presenting a poster on e-learning on Africa Archaeology and Heritage. It’s a new project I’m developing with Jörg Linstadter from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), Nuno Bicho and Célia Gonçalves, from ICArEhb (Algarve University) and Jonathan Haws, from Louisville University (US).
It has been a dream of mine to develop African studies in Archaeology and Heritage for a long time now… With Jörg we discuss this many times, but I never figure it out how to implement it. About one year ago I discovered the MOOC’s world and I realized that a way of doing it was using an on-line platform! This would be the perfect way of reaching the largest number of African students, by making it accessible using their own devices (computer, tables or smartphones). No need to travel abroad to accede the course and work with the best professors, researchers and archaeologist on the subject. I do believe that with this project we will be able to form a new generation of African archaeologists so needed to the protection and future of African Archaeology and Heritage.