Back Issues
The first issue of the South African Archaeological Bulletin appeared in December 1945, when South Africa was still facing paper restrictions in the aftermath of World War II. It was edited and driven by John Goodwin, the only professionally trained archaeologist in South Africa at the time. The first issue reflected the cosmopolitan nature of South Africa after the War with reports on excavations in the Middle East and Mesolithic Britain by army personnel passing through Cape Town on their way home. Subsequent issues moved towards the African focus with strong southern African leanings that has been the hallmark of the Bulletin ever since.
In 1947 submissions to The Bulletin increased enough to allow four issues to be printed a year. John Goodwin edited The Bulletin until a fortnight before his death in 1959 when he handed over to an editorial committee until his successor at the University of Cape Town, Ray Inskeep, was appointed. Ray began editing in 1960 and continued until he left South Africa in 1972 to take up a position at the University of Oxford. The editorship then passed for four years to an editorial committee comprising a group of Cape archaeologists, most based at the South African Museum. A succession of unfortunate delays in publication led to successive numbers being issued together, as thick double-issues. In 1976 Janette Deacon took on the sole editorship and she formalised the practice of a thicker format, produced twice a year in June and December. This is the production schedule that The Bulletin still follows today. In 1981 Janette increased the size of The Bulletin to A4 to fit better with modern publishing standards and to allow for the greater size and clarity of illustrations that modern archaeology demands. She continued to edit for an unprecedented seventeen years before handing over to Judith Sealy in 1994.
By the time that Mary Leslie took on the editorship 1998, The Bulletin had become one of the most successful of all archaeological journals. At the turn of the millennium it had an astonishing subscriber base of close to 1000 and was one of the most internationally read journals produced on the African continent. Margaret Avery then took over the editorship in 2001 and continued up until the 60th Anniversary issue in 2005. By this time the task of editing The Bulletin had become too onerous for a single individual in full-time employment. The South African Archaeological Society therefore entered into a partnership with Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists, whereby the professional association appointed a committee of editors on a five-year contractual basis: Amanda Esterhuysen, Benjamin Smith, Karim Sadr and Jo Behrens. In 2010, upon the renewal of the contract, Amanda Esterhuysen and Jo Behrens  stood down and Menno Welling and Geeske Langejans were appointed to take on their portfolios.
In 2006 The Bulletin entered into collaboration with JSTOR (, the world’s largest not-for-profit online public journal provider. Every article, note, report, review and editorial can now be downloaded as a PDF file at the click of a button. Our full back catalogue is searchable by subject, author and even by individual words contained in the text of articles. On the right hand side of this page you can type any of these search terms into the box and this will lead you to the full search results on JSTOR.
On the right of this page we also provide you with a series of links to contents pages of every back issue of The Bulletin. For issues older than three years, you can click on the title of any article and you will be directed to the full article on JSTOR. If you work at a university or museum that subscribes to JSTOR then you will be able to download the full article automatically and for free. If you are member of the South African Archaeological Society you must login to JSTOR using the special password available to members from the ArchSoc secretary.

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