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Book Prize

The SAfA Book Prize is open to books and monographs, including site reports, in all fields of African archaeology, including ethnoarchaeology and the African diaspora, from the beginnings of the archaeological record to the present. Single author, multi-author and edited works are all eligible. There is no restriction as to language.

The SAfA Book Prize is awarded every two years at the SAfA Biennial Meeting to a book which makes an exceptional contribution within one of the following areas, or to a significant contribution in a number of them:

1) an important theoretical advance in African archaeology;

2) an important methodological advance in African archaeology;

3) a major advance in our knowledge of the African past;

4) success in taking African archaeology to a world audience;

5) success in breaking down disciplinary division in African archaeology, be they temporal, geographic, linguistic, or other;

6) success in championing the value of African archaeology within an African nation or community;

7) success in championing the protection and preservation of Africa's archaeological heritage.

Previous SAfA Book Prize Winners:


For a book that has been successful in taking African archaeology to a world audience:

Stephen A. Dueppen. Divine Consumption. Sacrifice, Alliance Building, and Making Ancestors in West Africa. UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 2022.

For success in breaking down disciplinary divisions in African archaeology:

Barbara E. Frank. Griot Potters of the Folona. The History of an African Ceramic Tradition. Indiana University Press, 2021.

For success in championing the value of African archaeology within an African nation or community:

John Kinahan. Namib. The Archaeology of an African Desert. UNAM Press, 2020.

For a major advance in our knowledge of the African past:

Peter Mitchell. African Islands. A Comparative Archaeology. Routledge, 2022.



Sada Mire, Divine Fertility The Continuity in Transformation of an Ideology of Sacred Kinship in Northeast Africa. Routledge, 2020

Edited Volume: Specific

Stephanie Wynne-Jones and Adria LaViolette (eds.), The Swahili World. Routledge, 2020

Edited Volume: Pan-Africa

Geoffroy Heimlich (editorial coordination), Art rupestre et patrimoine mondial en Afrique subsaharienne. Hemispheres, 2021.


Cameron Gokee, Assembling the Village in Medieval Bambuk: An Archaeology of Interaction at Biouboye.  Equinox Publishing, 2016. 


Alfredo González-Ruibal, An Archaeology of Resistance: Materiality and Time in an African Borderland. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. 


Peter Mitchell, Paul Lane (eds.), Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology. Oxford University Press, 2013. 


Anne Mayor, Traditios céramiques dans la boucle du Niger. Ethnoarchéologie et histoire du peuplement au temps des empires précoloniaux. Africa Magna Verlag, 2011. 


Phillipe Lavachery, Scott MacEachern, Tchago Bouimon, Christophe Mbida Mindzie, De Komé à Kribi: Archéologie préventive le long de l'oléoduc Tchad-Cameroun, 1999- 2004. Africa Magna Verlag, 2010. 


Peter R. Schmidt, Matthew C. Curtis, Zelalem Haile Teka (eds.), The Archaeology of Ancient Eritrea. Red Sea Press, 2008. 


Ann Brower Stahl (ed.), African Archaeology: A Critical Introduction. Blackwell, 2005.