Worked Bone Research Group

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30 August to 3 September

Online via Zoom

The 14th Worked Bone Research Group conference is proudly hosted by the University of Johannesburg. We look forward to welcoming you during the week of 30 August to 3 September 2021. This is the first time the conference will be hosted by an African institution, the first time by an institution in the Southern Hemisphere, and the first time that it will be online. We hope that you will join us in making this a memorable event.

The purpose of the WBRG is to improve communication between individuals studying worked animal hard tissues (especially bone, antler, and ivory) with special emphasis on archaeological finds. A broad diachronic, and multi-disciplinary approach is emphasized in order to promote the exchange of ideas concerning attitudes to and procurement of raw materials, technology, and cognitive aspects of bone working.

Because the conference is now being hosted online we are able to open it up to all who are interested. If you would ike to attend one or more sessions and are not presenting a paper please complete the registration form by copying and pasting this link into your internet browser and following the instructions - A link to join the session/s will be sent to you closer to the time. 

Preliminary Programme

The preliminary programme is available below. The times indicated are in South African Standard Time (GMT+2). We have tried to be as accommodative as practicable of presenters in different time zones, but should a particular session or timeslot not be possible for you, please contact the organising secretary ( to see if it is possible to change. 

We encourage everyone to attend the opening session. Apart from containing some important information regarding the rest of the conference, we will be screening a short theatrical production (which would have been a live event had the conference not been online) that highlights the tension between human beings, and between humanity and nature – and confronts discrimination around race, gender, sexual preferences, and nationality (xenophobia). This is a really excellent production and highlights the value of palaeoscience in confronting current issues in society. Our generous sponsor, the Palaeontological Scientific Trust, has agreed, in light of the move to the online format, to convert part of the conference grant to prizes and student bursaries. Further information will be announced at the opening session on Monday 30 August.


Call for abstracts (CLOSED)

Please click here to download the call for abstracts. Please note that there is a section to vote on a Covid contingency plan, should the need arise. Deadline for abstract submissions is extended to 31 January 2021. Please submit your abstracts to

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