On the 9th and 10th of March 2020 the Centre for Curating the Archive hosted the third Digital Humanities workshop for the Afridig programme at the Hiddingh Campus of the University of Cape Town. Members of the APC took part in the workshop and presented on the state of their project, the Five Hundred Year Archive (FHYA), together with the other two partner projects, the Bleek and Lloyd Archive, and Metsemegologolo. The Rock Art Archive was present as external partner.
The Rock Art Research Unit at Wits was set up in 1986 under Professor David Lewis-Williams in the Department of Archaeology. Over the years the unit earned a reputation as one of the leading international research centres in its field. It became permanently established as the Rock Art Research Institute in 2000. Today RARI is located in the School of Geography, Archaeology, and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, with the School being one of nine in the Faculty of Science. The Institute remains closely linked to the Department of Archaeology, and its staff teach undergraduate courses and supervise postgraduate students in the department.
The APC’s first Research Development Workshop of 2020 was undertaken in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown conditions, as universities in South Africa and many countries worldwide navigated closed campuses and the challenges of online teaching and research. At the APC, we felt that in this moment of great uncertainty, exacerbated inequalities and generalised malaise, the workshop could invigorate and motivate the research endeavours of our students and research affiliates.
In 2018 the FHYA digitised a box file containing Prof. John Parkington’s personal correspondence, notebooks, photographs and slides related to excavations at the uMgungundlovu archaeological site between 1973 and 1975. The material had been in Prof. Parkington’s possession, at UCT, since the 1970’s when he had led excavations at the site.