Council Members

Mariette Harcombe

Chair Person

Mariette Harcombe completed her PhD in Ancient Near Eastern Studies through the University of South Africa in 2019. Her research focuses on the non-destructive analysis of ancient Egyptian bronzes using nuclear imaging techniques. She also holds an Honours degree in Archaeology and served as a junior lecturer in UNISA’s Department of Anthropology and Archaeology for two years (2009-2010). Mariette is the co-founder of Heritageworx, a private company that is passionate about involving the public in archaeological fieldwork through public participation projects.

Kelita Shadrach


Kelita Shadrach received her BA, BSc (Hons) & MSc degree in Archaeology from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Funded through a Wenner-Gren Wadsworth African Fellowship and Centre of Excellence in Palaeoscience Grant she is currently completing her PhD training. Human evolution analysed through cultural change in the ESA to MSA (a period which spans from 2.18 to 0.3 million years ago in South Africa) and Geoarchaeology is her main research specialisations. 

"I have always had a natural curiosity for the past and a drive to continuously learn and challenge social and academic structures. As a woman in academia and particularly one of colour, I find that there are many boundaries to be broken down and redefined within South Africa, as well as between South Africa and the international community. In my position on the SAASC, I have the opportunity to lead a dialogue among students, researchers and communities about archaeology, and challenge the mind-set of academic exclusion of the public."

Cherene de Bruyn

Media & Events

Cherene de Bruyn is a hardworking Archaeologist who has developed a mature and responsible approach to any task she undertakes. She completed her BA General, BA Honours (Archaeology) and a BSc Honours (Physical Anthropology) at the University of Pretoria. In 2014, she was placed at the Forensic Anthropological Research Centre, Pretoria as part of the DST-NRF Internship Programme. In 2016 she received the British High Commissions Chevening Scholarship to complete her Master’s degree in Archaeology at University College London, UK.


She is skilled in excavating and analysing archaeological artefacts such as pottery and skeletal human remains. She has an interest in Egyptian archaeology, ceramics and burial archaeology. Cherene is a motivated individual who gained relevant professional experience in the heritage sector through Internships as well as through volunteering on archaeological projects. She is currently working as an archaeologist for PGS Heritage where she is working on heritage impact assessment and grave relocation projects.

Énio Tembe

SADC Representative

Énio Tembe graduated in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management at Eduardo Mondlane University in 2018. His dissertation entitled A Idade da Pedra no Sul de Moçambique: Enquadramento Tecno-tipológico do espólio arqueológico do Abrigo Rochoso de Caimane (Daimane), província de Maputo, problematizes the generalization of the typologies of the lithic instruments found in this rock shelter, and provides hypotheses for the framing of these instruments, comparing them with other archaeological sites in Southern Africa. In 2015, he attended a semester in the course of Conservation and Restoration of Movable Cultural Heritage at the Federal University of Minas Gerais - Brazil.


He has experience in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management with activities in Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Brazil and France. Currently, his research focuses on the preparation of a bibliography of studies on Archaeology, carried out in Mozambique in the colonial and post-colonial period.

Suramya Bansal

International Student Representative

Suramya Bansal did his graduate studies in anthropology from India before initiating his archaeological research in South Africa. As a Socio-Cultural Anthropologist, he investigated commodification and consumerism of intangible and tangible cultural heritage through ethnoarchaeological perspectives in northern India. While as a Rock-Art Archaeologist, he has been working at the intersection of anthropological theories, ethnographic literature, and rock art iconography to understand hand imprints in southern African and global rock art. He is pursuing his research masters from the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.


He is simultaneously enthusiastic about inclusive science communication, public engagement and museum education, and has contributed through the programs and activities of the Origins Centre Museum and the Nat Geo ‘Umsuka’ Public Palaeoanthropology Project. Owing to socio-economic and historical similarities across Indian Ocean and Global South countries, he is keen on promoting and establishing intellectual and cultural dialogues and exchanges for young and emerging professionals from the allied disciplines of anthropology and archaeology. An adventurer and traveller at heart, he is also passionate about wildlife and environment conservation, advocacy of indigenous rights and nature-culture journey, and spends his free time curating his familial postcard, stamp, and coin collections.