In the heart of the southern Cape the 22nd biennial SASQUA conference took place from 28 January to 1st February. The ACCP was heavily involved in the conference and contributed greatly to the overall success of SASQUA 2019.

Quaternary Science is the inter-disciplinary field of study that focuses on the Quaternary period, the last 2.6 million years, an important phase in the earth’s geological history as it is characterised by high climate variability with large-scale global changes. The Southern African Society for Quaternary Research (SASQUA, https://sasqua.co.za/) encourages and advances the study of Southern African palaeoscience. The 22nd biennial SASQUA Congress was held at the Point Hotel in Mossel Bay [Photo 1] from the 28th January - 1 February 2019. The location, in the heart of the southern Cape, was chosen for its unique coastal landscapes, its rich palaeoenvironmental history as well as likely representing the possible ground-zero of human cognitive origins. With 64 delegates and 53 presentations covering a wide range of subfields including palaeoclimatology, palaeobotany, archaeology, oceanography, geochemistry and geochronology, the conference certainly did justice to the theme "Celebrating the richness of the southern African Quaternary".

The ACCP was heavily involved in the conference and contributed greatly to the overall success of SASQUA 2019 through various aspects: 

The lead organisers Dr Hayley Cawthra (SASQUA Vice-President) and Dr Lynne Quick (SASQUA President) are both members of the ACCP.

A large proportion of the scientific programme was filled by talks from ACCP affiliates and associates —an entire day was dedicated to showcasing the extensive research undertaken within the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain project. That day started off with the international director of the ACCP, Professor Curtis Marean, giving the plenary address and introducing the project to the audience.

Prof Curtis Marean and Dr Hayley Cawthra led a field trip on the last day of the conference. This excursion commenced with a visit to the palaeosols at Vleesbaai [Photo 2], where Toba volcanic tuff shards were recently described and where a slice of ancient Palaeo-Agulhas Plain landscape is preserved onshore. A large proportion of the day was spent traversing the cliffs at Pinnacle Point [Photos 3-5] where the archaeological records, anthropological complexities and geological evolution of the system were outlined by the field trip leaders. The third and final visit was to the Klein Brak River area, where modern coastal sedimentary depositional processes mirror ancient evidence for sea-level change, which are preserved in the form of carbonate-cemented aeolianite and beachrock dating back to Marine Isotope 11 and 5e.

The final ACCP-related event was a day-long workshop, led by Prof Marean where the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain research group members discussed and planned ongoing and future research directions.

The full SASQUA 2019 programme can be downloaded from the conference webpage: https://sasqua.co.za/sasqua-2019/