The 15th Congress of PanAfrican Archaeological Association for Prehistory and Related Studies (PanAf)

Rabat, Morocco, between 10-14 September, 2018

FIRST CIRCULAR LETTER

15th Congress PANAF’ 2018 “Valorization of African Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development”

The PanAfrican Archaeological Association of Prehistory and Related Studies (PanAf), at its 14th Congress held in 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa, voted unanimously to designate the Kingdom of Morocco as host for its 15th Congress, planned for 2018.

The Mohammed V University in Rabat, the National Institute of Archaeology and Heritage Sciences (INSAP) in Rabat, and the Mohammed I University in Oujda, have the honor and great pleasure to announcing the organization of the 15th Pan-African Congress.

This event will take place between 10- 14 September 2018 in Rabat, capital of the Kingdom of Morocco and a city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 15th Congress is the first Pan-African Congress organized in Morocco and the second organized in North Africa, with the previous one held in Algiers in 1952. It will take place in the context of new discoveries at Jebel Irhoud, in Morocco, demonstrating the oldest Homo sapiens now known in the world at 300,000 years old (Hublin, Ben-Ncer et al., Nature, 2017). Morocco, and the Maghreb with it, are at the center of debates about the origin and emergence of modern humans, which is a pan-African phenomenon.

This 15th Pan-African Congress will be an important moment to consolidate the role and place of archeology, both through new policies of development in Africa, as well as for heritage education and the enhancement of a diversity of cultural expressions. There is no doubt that archeology, more than any other discipline, has contributed to restoring to Africa its place and its voice in the writing of prehistory and universal history.

The congresses of the PanAfrican Archaeological Association of Prehistory and Related Studies are particularly interdisciplinary and unifying. In addition to archeology, they generate strong participation from other disciplines, including geology, paleoanthropology, museology, ethnoarchaeology, archaeobotany, archaeozoology and so on.

Our ambition is to make this an event that extends well beyond the African continent. Beyond the scientific exchanges, which will form the core of our meeting, we hope to promote and encourage interactions between different disciplines and different schools, but also to forge relationships and friendships between researchers and students from different regions of Africa. This will facilitate inter-African collaboration through intensive exchange of knowledge, information, ideas, concepts, methods and experiences. The congresses of the PanAfrican Archaeological Association of Prehistory and Related Studies are important moments for developing South/South university exchanges, but also for revitalizing North/South comparative thinking.

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, where Africa still faces major challenges, archaeology can provide a foundation on which to build a new prosperity based on stability, cohesion, social peace and self-respect. In this context, it will be necessary to reflect on the synergies needed to support archaeology working in the service of sustainable development in Africa.

From this perspective, a series of themes around which the different scientific sessions can be articulated have been proposed.

We rely on everyone to ensure that the organization of this event is equal to our expectations.

Prof. Hassan Aouraghe

For the Local Organizing Committee, PAA

PANAF XV, Rabat 2018