Grants & Awards
The South African Archaeological Society and its branches give out a number of grants and awards every year. A list of those currently available can be found in the list to the right.
If you would like to provide an endowment for a new grant or award that will be made in your name, please contact

Compiled by Tim Maggs and Patricia Groenewald
Over the years the Society has benefitted greatly from several large bequests which have enabled us to carry out the functions of the Society more effectively. Each of these bequests has been administered in a fund named after the benefactor – hence the Herman, Inskeep, Kent and Ward Funds that appear in our annual financial statements. At a Council meeting in 2023 it was pointed out that many people would not know who these people were, nor what the specific functions are of each fund, so we decided to make this compilation. 

Gerhard H. Herman:
Oldest of these is the Herman bequest. Gerhard H. Herman, a Cape Townian, was a founder member of the Society and a keen amateur archaeologist who worked for the Public Works Department. Back in those days when surface collecting was permitted, he made substantial contributions to the South African Museum under the Director Dr. Peringuey’s direction, visiting sites, especially shell middens, around the Cape Peninsula and further afield. He maintained a close interest in the Society until his death in 1949. To the Society he bequeathed a fine antique Cape bookcase full of Africana books which, along with the rest of the Society’s library, was housed at the South African Museum. During the 1990s Council learnt that this collection saw very little use and therefore decided to sell the bookcase and its contents. The money thus raised was invested in the Herman Fund which has grown considerably over the years. The purpose of this Fund is to support the general expenses of the Society where needed. It therefore acts as a cushion against financial difficulties.
(Obituary – South African Archaeological Bulletin 4(14): 62. 1949.)
Dr Leslie E. Kent:
Leslie E. Kent grew up in Pietermaritzburg, obtaining his undergraduate education at the Natal University College and Rhodes University College. He was a well‑known geologist in South Africa, working at the Geological Survey from 1936 until his retirement in 1976. He is especially remembered for his work on mapping the geology of South Africa and his work on hot springs. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and a member of both the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA; serving on the Council from 1955 to 1974 and as President in 1965) and the South African Archaeological Society (ArchSoc). His interest in and desire to promote research in the geology and archaeology of South Africa is evident from his bequests to both the GSSA and ArchSoc in 1992. The purpose of his bequests in both cases were to finance field work or expeditions; to fund research according to guidelines laid down by the Societies; to publish or help publish the results of research; and, for the GSSA, to award prizes for research. The funds from his bequest have been added to those of Valerie Ward to increase the size of grants that the Society is able to make in support of archaeological research, hence the title Kent and Ward Fund.
(Obituary – Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 49(2): 259-260.)

Valerie F. Ward:
Val Ward grew up in Durban where she qualified as a medical technologist. She travelled widely and became intensely interested in archaeology during a residence in Hong Kong, where she joined the active amateur society on their excavation program. Returning to Natal she became energetically involved in local activities. She was a stalwart member of the Natal Branch of the Society, serving on its committee for many years. Her association with the Archaeology Department of the Natal Museum was a long and fruitful one. Starting as a volunteer, her skills and energy were quickly appreciated and she was employed from 1978 until her retirement in 1995; although she never really retired but remained involved in Museum and other archaeological matters until her death in 2016. She made major contributions to the archaeological productivity of the Museum through excavations, rock art recording, photography, drawing, writing, editing and the general preparation of material for publication. She also revolutionised curatorial and archival systems. The funds from her bequest have been added to those from Dr. Kent, in order to increase the size of grants that the Society is able to make in support of archaeological research, hence the title Kent and Ward Fund.
(Obituary – South African Archaeological Bulletin 71(204): 189. 2016.)

Prof. Raymond R. Inskeep:
After wartime military service and several years of teaching, Ray Inskeep studied and went on to teach archaeology at Cambridge. His first involvement with African archaeology was at Livingstone, Zambia where, under Desmond Clark, he started the first research project into Iron Age farmers in that country - later continued by Brian Fagan, David Phillipson and others. Following the death of John Goodwin, Ray was appointed in 1960 as “Senior Lecturer in Ethnology and Archaeology” at the School of African Studies, University of Cape Town. During his time at UCT Ray’s contribution to South and indeed southern African archaeology can hardly be exaggerated. Within a decade he had inspired a cohort of students who largely professionalised the practice of archaeology in South Africa. By 1969 he was appointed Professor and Head of the first fully fledged Archaeology Department at a South African university. Apart from his success in expanding archaeology at UCT, he actively promoted the field widely in South Africa, resulting in new posts at universities and museums. He was a stalwart of the Society and editor of the Bulletin. Networking widely with other researchers he recognised the need for improved professional standards and communication. He was key to the establishment of both the Southern African Association of Archaeologists (now renamed ASAPA) and the Southern African Society for Quaternary Research (SASQUA). Returning to the UK in 1972 he took up a post of Curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, and later a University Lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology. He retired in 1993 and died 2003. His widow, Adi Inskeep, wishing to commemorate his contribution to African archaeology, particularly his teaching, made a generous donation to the Society. The function of the R.R. Inskeep Fund is to provide support for prizes to outstanding student presentations at the biennial ASAPA conferences.
 (Festschrift – South African Archaeological Bulletin 48(158): 63-118. Obituary – South African Archaeological Bulletin 58(178): 100-102. 2003)