Archaeology and the lived identities project


After fieldwork was delayed due to Covid-19 in 2020, fieldwork started in Mackay in July 2021.

Fieldwork for the Archaeology, collections and Australian South Sea Islander lived identities project includes:

  • archaeological survey and excavation
  • archaeo-botanical and geomorphological analysis of soils to understand transformation of the landscape
  • collection of oral histories
  • mapping of cultural landscapes
  • collection surveys in regional museums and libraries.


Archaeology as a career

Archaeologists study people's past through the material remains that they have left behind. As a discipline, archaeologists employ a wide range of methods and techniques to understand our history, from the far distant to the very recent past, irrespective of whether a site is located on land or underwater. Currently, there are over 1000 archaeologists in Australia working across many disciplinary areas including Indigenous Archaeology, Historical Archaeology, Maritime Archaeology, Classical Archaeology and Archaeological Science. Australian-trained and -based archaeologists also work globally in the Pacific, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian and Europe.

Australians are recognised world-wide for their approaches to archaeology, including archaeology linked to cultural heritage management and collaborative, community-based archaeologies. Over the last three decades, the rapid expansion of cultural heritage management has created a demand for archaeologists in the private sector and archaeologists may be found working almost anywhere from construction sites in the middle of cities examining convict and colonial heritage to remote locations co-researching Indigenous archaeology of the deep past.

Two archaeologists conducting field work

Queensland Museum's David Parkhill and Nick Hadnutt working in the field.

Feature stories

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Explore the rich diversity and significance of Australian South Sea Islander items online!

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