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NRF awards National Museum archaeologist a prestigious B3 NRF rating

The CEO of the National Museum, Sharon Snell has congratulated Dr Will Archer for achieving a B3 NRF rating. This prestigious accolade was awarded to him by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

The NRF conducted a rigorous evaluation by peers in order to assess and rate the research capacity of Dr Will Archer. Based on the quality and the impact of his research outputs and the comments of the reviewers he was placed in the B category at level B3. The B category researchers are those who enjoy considerable international recognition by their peers for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs. Placement on the B 3 subcategory means that most of the reviewers were convinced that Dr Archer enjoys considerable international recognition for the high quality and impact of his/her recent research outputs.

Dr Archer has published relatively widely in some of the leading journals in the fields of archaeology and human evolution. He obtained Bachelors and Honours Degrees from the University of Cape Town, in addition to Masters degrees in both Environmental Law and Archaeology from the same institution. He pursued a PhD in archaeological science, awarded by Leiden University (Holland) in 2016, and then undertook post-doctoral research at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany. In 2020, he was appointed as Head of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the National Museum. His interests are in quantitative approaches to generating high-quality datasets through the study of stone artefacts, and through excavations of new promising archaeological sites with the best recovery methods.

Dr Archer has conducted fieldwork in six sub-Saharan African countries, working in archaeological contexts ranging in age from the Plio-Pleistocene through to the Holocene. He directs two projects in South Africa, and has held leadership roles in projects in Mozambique, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Some highlights of this field work include (1) the earliest evidence for Homo sapiens occupation of a tropical rainforest at Panga ya Saidi, Kenya, (2) the earliest hominin flaked stone industry at Bakal-Dura 1, Ethiopia and (3) the earliest evidence for hominin aquatic resource use in East Turkana, Kenya. His current research focuses on early human cultural evolution and social networking on the southern African west coast.

Image: Dr Will Archer is Head of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the National Museum

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