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The Australian National University

The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific - A Hidden History

The Pacific Ocean; From "The New Pictorial Atlas of the World", c.1920s

About CBAP

ARC Laureate Project
‘Until the history of archaeology reflects a better understanding of the historical events that shape archaeological research, the subject will only ever be useful as an introduction. Unlike the wide-sweeping histories of archaeology traditionally accepted by archaeologists, in-depth research on the historical context of archaeology is still wanting.’ Amara Thornton (2011:38)*.

CBAP Blogsite

To keep up to date with the CBAP Project and what our team is doing, please see our Project Blogsite

Upcoming events

The Backward looking curiosity - the History of Archaeology
Wednesday, 15th March 2017 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Presented by The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific (CBAP) ARC Laureate Project To understand the history of archaeology is one way to understand ourselves. Brian Fagan explores the...

» read more

Seminars & papers

Below you will find links to Seminars and Papers from, or related to, the CBAP project from our team.

CBAP - News


Monday 5th September, 2016


We are seeking suitably qualified postgraduate students to join the CBAP team. While we would entertain any PhD topics that relate to the wider aims of the Project, we are particularly seeking students to undertake research on the following two topics:

  • Ÿ The history of the use of ethnographic analogies derived from the Pacific in European and American archaeological explanations and their continuing salience today despite challenges to their appropriateness.
  • Ÿ The history of archaeology in Papua New Guinea and its contribution to Australian imaginings of that former colonial territory and its people.

For full details go to:


Thursday 3rd March

Michelle Richards Recieves VC Travel Grant

Congratulations to Michelle Richards for receiving $3,000 from the Vice-Chancellor's HDR Travel Grant.

This is fantastic news for Michelle, and ends a nail-biting wait to find out the results of her application for the Grant. She will be spending the next 4 months doing pXRF analysis of museum collections in the UK and Europe as well as presenting at the 41st International Symposium on Archaeology in Greece.


CBAP - People

Research Team

Lead Researcher

Post-doctoral Research


Post-graduate Students

Professor Matthew Spriggs



RA & Project Manager


Catherine Fitzgerald

Dr Emilie Dotte-Sarout


Dr Hilary Howes

Andrea Ballesteros

Eve Haddow

Victor Melandor

Michelle Richards


Visiting Fellows


Dr Elena Govor


Project Associates

  • Katherine Aigner, National Centre for Indigenous Studies, ANU and Associate Curator, Vatican Ethnological Museum
  • Ass. Prof. Chris Ballard, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
    • Chris Ballard is Associate Professor in Pacific History in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University in Canberra. He has conducted long-term research as an archaeologist, historian and anthropologist in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and eastern Indonesia.  His current research interests include Indigenous historicities, the history of field anthropology, violence in the colonial encounter, and the community management of cultural heritage.

  • Doctor Geoffrey Clark, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
  • Ass. Prof. Bronwen Douglas, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
  • Denis Gojak, University of Sydney: The Secret Visitors Project
  • Ira Jacknis, Hearst Museum, UC Berkeley
  • Doctor Gareth Knapman, Colloege of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
  • Ass. Prof. Helene Martisson-Wallins, University of Uppsala , Sweden
  • Doctor Meredith Wilson, Stepwise Heritage and Tourism
    • Meredith Wilson (Stepwise Heritage & Tourism Pty Ltd) is a cultural heritage management and rock art specialist; she completed her PhD at ANU on the rock art of the Western Pacific. She has worked extensively on cultural heritage management by indigenous communities in Vanuatu and Australia, and was coordinator on Vanuatu’s World Heritage nomination project for the listed property of Chief Roi Mata’s Domain.

  • Professor Tim Murray, La Trobe University
  • Dr Sven Ousman, The University of Western Australia
    • Sven Ouzman is a cognitive archaeologist interested in the rock arts of southern Africa and northern Australia. He is also involved with museums and the theorisation of heritage as well as engaged with contemporary archaeology projects concerning graffiti and houselessness. Disciplinary history and politics constitutes  a parallel project to the above research interests.

  • Dr Caroline Phillips, University of Auckland & Archaeological Consultant, NZ
    • My main area of research has been the study of New Zealand Māori settlements, employing interdisciplinary techniques, to address questions such as: how to identify dynamic settlement systems; the mechanisms of interaction spheres; small-scale cultural change and post-contact change; and issues of ethnicity and identity. To this end, I am concerned to explore appropriate theoretical approaches including landscape studies, contextual archaeology, relational studies and historical narratives, with interpretations derived from ethnographic analogy, indigenous Maori understandings and land-use concepts.





Contact Us

General Inquiries Postal Address
                +61 2 61258758          

CBAP Project

Sir Roland Wilson Building #120

McCoy Circuit

Acton, ACT, 2601

  CBAP Enquiry  

Updated: 1 March 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher