Dr Sven Ouzman

Started at UWA: 2013

Archaeologist and activist studying forgotten worlds all around us

We need to know what we have done as a species, where we come from, and imagine where we might be going. Dr Sven Ouzman

Dr Sven Ouzman is an archaeologist, lecturer and activist at UWA’s School of Social Sciences.

Dr Ouzman is studying the forgotten worlds beneath and all around us, and is currently exploring areas such as Indigenous rock art in the North Kimberley and the South African colonial circuits of knowledge and heritage.

After studying at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Dr Ouzman worked as Head of the Rock Art Department at the National Museum in Bloemfontein.

He undertook further postgraduate study in the United States before returning to South Africa as a Senior Lecturer at The University of Pretoria in the department of anthropology and archaeology.

He moved to Australia to take up a position at the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management at UWA.

Dr Ouzman’s research has launched projects in the Kimberley, collaborating with Aboriginal partners, as well as smaller projects in Perth.


  • BA, BA (Hons) - University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • MA and PhD - UC Berkeley, California

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Chief Investigator: ARC Kimberley Visions: Rock Art Style Provinces of North Australia, 2016-2021

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Discipline Chair, UWA Archaeology, 2015-2018

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Fulbright Scholar with Amy Biehl prize, 2002



Kimberley Visions: rock art style provinces of North Australia

Kimberley Visions is a University of Western Australia research project working to connect different art periods and map Australia’s earliest human footfall across the northern landscape.








Dating the aboriginal rock art sequence of the Kimberley in North West Australia

This project aims to develop a robust time scale for the known aboriginal rock art sequence in the Kimberley, Western Australia. The project will use new knowledge of complex processes on sandstone surfaces across the north Kimberley, and an innovative combination of four scientific dating methods developed through earlier work.

Centre for Rock Art Research + Management


The Centre for Rock Art Research + Management is committed to continuing research on projects within The University of Western Australia as well as in collaboration with national and international universities. Western Australia features some of Australia’s most spectacular rock art galleries.

Few landscapes offer as much tangible evidence of human history as the Pilbara, Kimberley and Western Desert regions. This situation presents archaeologists and rock art researchers with an extraordinary opportunity to learn more about the rich visual histories associated with rock art.


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I like teaching that flows directly to hands-on hard and soft skills. Seminars where everyone participates and where students push boundaries and give me a hard time, and teach me things. Dr Sven Ouzman

Supervisor opportunities

Dr Sven Ouzman has been supervising PhD students for 10 years, covering topics such as heritage and museums, landscape archaeology, rock art and stone tools.

He welcomes expressions of interest via email from prospective postgraduate students interested in:

  • contemporary archaeology
  • heritage law and management
  • rock art
  • museums
  • archaeological theory
  • politics

Contact Dr Sven Ouzman

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Research repository

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