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The Australian National University

Archaeology & natural history

At Archaeology and Natural History, we use a multidisciplinary approach to find answers to important questions about prehistory and its implications for today's world.

Research in Archaeology and Natural History at the ANU School of Culture, History and Language aims to understand prehistoric human societies, the environments in which they developed and the environmental consequences of human presence. Departmental research ranges from the cultivated fields of southeast Asia, through the tropical forests of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, along the savannahs of Australia, and to the islands of Oceania. See the current research projects page for examples of our work. You are also invited to read our Archaeology and Natural History newsletter for more on our current work and future plans.

Field research in ANH is supported by well-equipped laboratories that were fully updated and refurbished during 2009, and further enhanced with new equipment in 2012. This includes our state-of-the-art microscope facility for the analysis of pollen, charcoal, phytoliths and diatoms from ancient and modern sites. Our laboratories support research into prehistoric textiles, archaeobotanical remains, rock art, faunal material, lithics, and ceramics. ANH maintains the largest pollen reference collection in Australia, as well as excellent plant, bone, shell and obisidian collections. We also have access to world-class ANU facilities for archaeological dating, stable isotope analysis, and electron microscopy.

Postgraduate opportunities include PhD and Masters programs by research and a Master of Archaeological Science program. Students have the opportunity to develop their own research agenda or to contribute to ongoing research within the department. Research funding is usually provided to PhD students by the department, and other sources of funding are commonly available. We also have occasional fieldwork opportunties for undergraduate and non-ANU students who want to be part of exciting new research that is improving our understanding of the past and how it shapes the future.

Updated:  20 February 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language /Page Contact:  CHL webmaster