Still digging…

Revisiting Falls Rock Shelter, Hungorob Ravine, Brandberg, 30 years after our first excavation there

John and Jill Kinahan have worked as archaeologists in Namibia since 1979.

As curators of archaeology and editors of the journal Cimbebasia at the National Museum, they carried out an active field and research program, producing many scientific papers.

For his work on the rise of pastoralism in the central Namib, John was awarded his PhD from the  University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, in 1989. He has taught at universities in the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Australia, and worked as an independent researcher in Angola, Botswana, Tanzania, Mali and Ethiopia. (John Kinahan CV).

After National Independence in 1990, the Kinahans established the Namibia Archaeological Trust with the threefold aim of furthering scientific archaeological research in Namibia, encouraging its educational use, particularly at university level, and conserving the country’s archaeological heritage. In 1997, the Kinahans left the Museum to take up a research grant from Uppsala University, Sweden, and to establish a professional archaeological consultancy, Quaternary Research Services (QRS)  to protect and record archaeological sites endangered by increasing development in the country. Their son Tim spent his early childhood either barefoot in an excavation trench in Africa, or in boots, mittens and snowsuit in Uppsala!

After completing her thesis on the historical archaeology of contact and trade on the Namib coast, Jill obtained a PhD from Uppsala University in 2000.  While providing administrative support for QRS and a home base for  Tim, Jill participated in the follow-up programme to research supported by Sweden; helped edit the African Archaeology Network journal Studies in the African Past, and currently serves on the editorial board of the South African Archaeological Bulletin. (Jill Kinahan CV).

 As consulting archaeologists, the Kinahans have been involved in a wide range of interdisciplinary studies, in the development of site management plans and in the training of site personnel. As consultant to the Government of Namibia, John compiled the nomination dossier and site management plan for Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage listed site. In the field of archaeological impact assessment, John has pioneered an approach that serves the interests of the developer and the need to conserve archaeological resources for future study. He is currently writing a book on the archaeology of Namibia, drawing on his extensive knowledge of the country gained through research and, over the past 15 years, archaeological impact assessments of areas scheduled for development.