A key means of understanding and creating the human past is through engagement with the material remains of its cultures. UQ’s Heritage and Museums community draws on scientific, interpretative and narrative traditions to understand, conserve and present the material past to contemporary society through its research in:

  1. the global emergence of humanity from their first appearance to the development of cities and our global civilisation.
  2. Australasian pasts: Studying Australasia’s cultures from the first appearance of humans at 60,000 years ago to European colonisation and the entrainment of the region in the global economy.
  3. Presenting pasts: The material past is a contested place and UQ is actively researching how to bring the past effectively and critically to contemporary society through its education programs and field research projects.
  4. Environment and culture histories: UQ is a centre of scholarship bridging environmental and cultural histories to understand how the human past has been shaped by and shaped past environments.
Major Projects in Material Past

Key Contacts: Associate Professor Andrew Fairbairn, Professor Ian Lilley

Research Group: Associate Professor Andrew Fairbairn, Professor Ian Lilley, Associate Professor Annie Ross, Professor Marshall Weisler, Dr Jonathan Prangnell, Associate Professor Chris Clarkson.

Key projects and initiatives