The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific

ARC Laureate Project Overview

‘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)*.

In histories of world archaeology the Pacific and Island Southeast Asia are essentially absent. This project seeks nothing less than to create a new sub-field within Pacific archaeology: the serious study of its history from its beginnings in the speculations of early European and American explorers on the origins of Pacific peoples, to its growth spurt and professionalisation following World War II.

The Laureate project has as a long-term vision to establish the ANU as the world centre for the study of the history of Pacific, Southeast Asian and Australian archaeology, and as a major centre for the history of archaeology more generally. The Laureate Program is the necessary springboard for this wider aim.

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