University of Otago

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University of Otago Archaeology

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The University of Otago has long taught archaeology as part of its anthropology department. <googlemap lat="-45.865083" lon="170.515097" zoom="16" width="300" height="300">-45.865083, 170.515097, University of Otago, New Zealand</googlemap>

University of Otago Archaeology page

Current archaeologists on staff include:


Associate Professors:

  • Associate Professor Richard Walter: Prehistory and archaeology of Oceania with a special interest in Melanesia and Polynesia; material culture analysis; history of archaeological method and theory; ethnoarchaeology; faunal analysis.
  • Associate Professor Ian Smith: New Zealand archaeology; faunal analysis; historical archaeology; culture contact; archaeological methods.

Senior Lecturers:

  • Dr Ian Barber: New Zealand archaeology, with special interest in Maori resource use; archaeo-zoology; cultural change and contact; archaeological resource management and politics. Current Programme Coordinator.
  • Dr Nancy Tayles: Biological anthropology of prehistoric populations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, using skeletal remains from archaeological excavations as the primary source of data. Dr Tayles is particularly interested in health and disease as evidence of adaptation to the environment (Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology).
  • Dr Hallie Buckley: Patterns of prehistoric health and disease in the Pacific Islands as evidence of adaptation to the island environment. Currently this research is focusing on new Lapita-associated skeletal samples from Vanuatu (Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology).


  • Dr Tim Thomas: Archaeology and historical anthropology of Oceania; Material culture of the Pacific region; Socio-cultural landscapes; Exchange theory; Cross-cultural contact in Oceania; The archaeology of colonisation.
  • Dr Mark McCoy: Pacific archaeology with a focus on Polynesia; landscape archaeology; prehistoric agriculture; ritual; ethnohistory; spatial technology; material culture analysis.

Research fellors/technicians:

  • Professor Atholl Anderson: Oceanic prehistory and ethnohistory, island colonisation, palaeoenvironments, zooarchaeology, chronometry, maritime adaptations.
  • Janet Wilmshurst: Palaeoecologist
  • Dr Brian Vincent: Southeast Asian prehistory with a special interest in Neolithic to Iron Age ceramics and their cultural role, including craft specialization, technology, trade and exchange, socio-economic developments and social complexity.
  • Dr Dimitri Anson: Ceramic analysis; Lapita pottery of the Bismarck Archipelago, PNG; Ancient Pottery.
  • Dr Angela Middleton: Historical archaeology; Gender; Mission archaeology; Culture contact / engagement studies; Archaeological landscapes.
  • Phil Latham: Phil has an MA in archaeology from Otago (his dissertation was on Prehistoric fishing at Purakaunui), and has an interest in the replication of prehistoric technologies. Phil manages the extensive archaeological laboratories and collections in the Department.
  • Dr Sian Helcrow: The bioarchaeology of childhood. Dr Halcrow is particularly interested in the study of infant and child health and disease in prehistoric Southeast Asia (Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology).

Past staff members include:

Foss Leach

Les Groube

Peter Gathercole 1958 to 1968

H D Skinner (who lectured on anthropology before the department existed)

Donn Bayard

Ham Parker