Archaeology

Studying human life, thoughts and actions through material evidence

Over the last 150 years or more, no other field has transformed the way we see humanity’s past and humanity’s present more than archaeology. Archaeology has revolutionised our understanding of human evolution, the timing of the earliest human migrations across the globe, and the origins of agriculture and complex societies. It has equally redefined our understanding of more recent periods through uncovering hidden histories that have not been represented in written records.

Archaeology addresses the challenge of integrating vastly different timescales to understand the deep and recent past of humanity. It can equally demonstrate long-term developments across many millennia as well as individual actions of human beings, who lived thousands of years ago.

Few other fields of study combine intellectual pursuit with such a diverse set of practical skills, incorporating approaches from both the sciences and the humanities. There's almost no field of enquiry that cannot be connected to archaeology; archaeologists study animal bones, plants, sediments, human remains, tools and settlements, shipwrecks, rock art, the human use of oceans and landscapes as well as the history of the study of the past itself.

UWA Archaeology has expertise in working in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region as well as Europe, Africa and North America. Our staff and students work on collaborative projects together with industry partners and Indigenous communities across Australia, and our researchers are engaged in planning, social policy, community development, media, public relations, education, database management, and natural resource management.

Research strengths

Project highlights

Our courses

Our centres

Research partners 

  • WA Museum
  • State Library of WA
  • British Museum
  • Deakin University
  • Art Gallery of WA
  • Balanggarrra Aboriginal Corporation
  • WA Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Management
  • Dunkeld Pastoral
  • Monash University
  • University of Melbourne
  • Rio Tinto
  • Kimberley Foundation Australia 

News

Contact the Discipline Chair, Associate Professor Martin Porr