Whereas shrines in Africa, and to a lesser extent their links with medicine and healing, have been extensively studied by historians and anthropologists, they have been largely neglected by archaeologists. Focus has been placed upon palaeopathology when medicine is considered in archaeological contexts. Difficulties certainly exist in defining medicine shrines, substances and practices archaeologically, yet research can take various forms - scapegoats and figural representations of disease; divination and diagnosis; trade and spread of medicinal substances, shrines, and amulets; syncretism of different traditions and materiality; the material culture associated with healing and medicinal substance; depictions in rock art; genetic research. A move beyond palaeopathology is required to begin to understand the archaeology of medicine shrines, substances, practices and healing in sub-Saharan Africa. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.