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Historical Archaeology Laboratory

The Historical Archaeology Research Group (HARG) was established within the Department of Archaeology in 1987 to bring together archaeologists and other researchers actively interested in the history of the last six hundred years, and to introduce the sub-discipline of historical archaeology to UCT. Martin Hall became the first professor of historical archaeology. HARG acted as an umbrella group for people from a range of disciplines, and offers a home for visiting historical archaeologists, a network of contacts, a resource centre and a laboratory. Today it is under the supervision of Dr Simon Hall.

In close association with the Archaeology Contracts Office (now ACO-Associates cc), HARG became well known in the Western Cape for its contribution to local cultural heritage research, consultancy and conservation management. Of particular concern has been the need to bridge the gap between theory and practice, authorities and the public. In 2000 the Cultural Sites & Resources Forum was set up to provide a forum for debate and resolution of issues around the identification and conservation of sacred sites, particularly Muslim burial grounds. HARG also played an active role in founding the inter-disciplinary Association of Professional Heritage Practitioners (

Useful links:
Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists –

Vernacular Architecture Society of SA –

The Society for Historical Archaeology (USA) –

Society for Post Medieval Archaeology (UK) –

Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology –