The service is devoted to research on the past and present of African societies. It focuses on determining the context in which ancient and contemporary material culture was used and produced.
Objects are analysed from two perspectives: that of formal and stylistic comparison, manufacturing processes, and study of materials; and their uses and geographic distribution.
Our methodological tools derive from different disciplines:
- historical and prehistoric archaeology
- historical comparative linguistics
- art history.
- Els Cornelissen, Head of department
archaeology, Late Stone Age in Central Africa
- Laurence Marot, Archaeologist
ancient copper metallurgy in sub-Saharan Africa
- Birgit Ricquier, Linguist
Bantu, historical comparative linguistics, food history, African precolonial history
- Alexandre Smith, Archaeologist
Archaeology of Central Africa, Anthropology of technology, Pottery traditions in sub-Saharan Africa
- Julien Volper, Curator ethnography
Art history, ancient arts and cultures of Central Africa
Technical and administrative staff
- Nadine Devleeschouwer, Administrative Assistant, Archaeology library
- Alexander Vral, Archaeological collections manager
- Katerina Cavana
- Dominique Tenaerts
Assessments are carried out free of charge for ethnographic and archaeological objects from sub-Saharan Africa.
For ethical reasons, no indication of market value nor opinion regarding the authenticity of a piece will be expressed.
- Ethnographic objects
By appointment only every first Wednesday of February, April, June, August, October and December.
Contact: Julien Volper
- Prehistoric stone artefacts
Contact: Els Cornelissen
Contact: Alexandre Livingstone Smith
For people living or working in Africa with an interest in documenting the production of contemporary pottery, Alexandre Livingstone Smith provides, by appointment, an explanation and guidance concerning surveys. This information is indispensable for the development of a reference database.
An archaeological map of the DRC is under construction.
It is largely based on the RMCA’s collections. At present, 60% of the sites mentioned in the RMCA’s archaeological inventories have been localised geographically. While the DRC as a whole bears traces of a rich archaeological heritage, some regions were, and still remain, the object of much greater attention.
- Black circles: undated site from the RMCA collections.
- Red triangles: dated sites.
- Yellow: savanna.
- Green: forest.
This manual aims at explaining essential concepts pertaining to the practice of conducting archaeological field work in Africa.