Professor Matthew Spriggs

Professor Matthew Spriggs

Position: ARC Laureate Fellow & Professor of Archaeology
School and/or Centres: Archaeology


Phone: +61 2 612 58229

Location: Sir Roland Wilson Building (120)


MA (Cantab), PhD (ANU), FSA, FAHA, GSM (Vanuatu), ARC Laureate Fellow & Professor of Archaeology, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Researcher profile:

My research interests are areally the archaeiology of Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, and also Cornish Studies. My thematic areas of interest are archaeology and lingusitics, subsistence systems and agricultural origins, human-environment interactions, politics and archaeology and Cornish language history.  Most recently I have begun a five year project (2015-2020) funded by the ARC Laureate scheme on the history of Pacific archaeology. I have carried out archaeological research in Indonesia, East Timor, New Guinea, the Bismack Archipelago, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Hawaii. Currently an ARC Laureate Fellow, I was appointed Professor of Archaeology in 1997 in what is now the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Social Sciences at the ANU. Previously I was a Senior Research Fellow in Archaeology and Natural History, in what is now the College of Asia Pacific. Before joining the ANU in 1987, I was an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department of University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu. I took up a position there after finishing my PhD at the ANU in 1981.

  • Beyond migration and diffusion: The prehistoric mobility of people & ideas (Secondary Investigator)
  • The collective biography of archaeology in the Pacific: a hidden history (Primary Investigator)
  • Understanding the migrations of prehistoric populations through direct dating and isotopic tracking of their mobility patterns (Secondary Investigator)
  • Persistence and transformation in Ancestral Oceanic Society: the archaeology of the first 1500 years in the Vanuatu archipelago (Secondary Investigator)
  • Microanalysis of Human Fossils: New Insights into Age, Diet and Migration (Secondary Investigator)
  • Northern Vanuatu as a Pacific Crossroads: The archaeology of discovery, interaction and the emergence of the ethnographic present (Primary Investigator)
  • Anthropological Perspectives on Ethnographic Collecting by Australian Colonial Administrators in Papua and New Guinea (Primary Investigator)
  • Bridging Sunda and Sahul: The archeology of the border area between Asia, Australia and Melanesia in Southeastern Maluka, Indonesia (Primary Investigator)
  • Post-Lapita Archeology of the western Pacific:Laboratory Analysis of the Mangaasi Type-site, Efate, Vanuatu (Primary Investigator)

Updated:  18 October 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications