The AFEQ was founded in 1962. This multidisciplinary group gathers archaeologists, botanists, climatologists, geographers, geologists, geophysicists, palaeontologists, palynologists, pedologists and zoologists. Membership is open to all quaternarists from France and other countries. AFEQ publishes four issues of QUATERNAIRE annually, organises scientific meeting and an annual excursion in France or in a European country, and informs its members through a newsletter each three months.
Since July 2012, AFEQ has merged with CNF-INQUA, the former French representative body within the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA). The unified association, AFEQ-CNF INQUA, is now the national representative within this international union, which groups quaternarists worldwide under the umbrella of ICSU (International Council of Scientific Unions).