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National Archaeology Week

16 – 22 May, 2021
The Chau Chak Wing Museum presents a series of talks, lectures and panels to celebrate National Archaeology Week 2021.

Trowel on dig site

Lunchtime archaeology talks

Stavros Paspalas, Annie Clarke, Roland Fletcher, Richard Miles, Alison Betts

17 – 21 May, 12pm

Join us for a series of lunchtime talks featuring archaeologists speaking about their archaeological fieldwork and research projects from around the planet to get a global perspective on archaeology in the 21st century. 

Angkor, Interdisciplinary Research and Urban Risk – Roland Fletcher

Angkor, the vast low-density Khmer capital founded in the 7 to 8th century CE, was largely abandoned some time in the past 500 years. In this talk, Professor Roland Fletcher examines the structure of Angkor’s social and spatial organisation; the way the urban complex operated; and its environment to diagnose why, when and how it was abandoned and to reveal the transformations from the 7th to 19th centuries that created the modern landscape out of 3000 years of cultural continuity.

Please note: unfortunately we were unable to show the accompanying slides in this video.

Zagora: Life in an Early Iron Age Greek Town (900-700 BC) – Stavros Paspalas

The Early Iron Age settlement of Zagora on the Greek island of Andros never ceases to surprise and Australian excavations since the 1960's have provided unrivalled insights in to how the Zagoreans lived their lives during this formative period. In this talk, Dr Stavros Paspalas outlines the major findings of the earlier Australian excavations as well as fieldwork conducted since 2012.

Archaeology on Groote Eylandt – Annie Clarke

Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria is home to the Anindilyakwa-speaking and has been the centre of research by Professor Annie Clarke for more than three decades. Here Annie speaks on her work and the processes of collaborating with the local community, and the practice of community archaeology and ‘knowledge repatriation’.

Please note- due to cultural sensitivities we were unable to share most of the slides presented during this talk.


Coffin being CT scanned. Photo by John Magnussen, Courtesy Macquarie Medical Imaging and Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney.

Can archaeological science save the world? Joining the dots…between past and present

Professor Keith Dobney, University of Sydney

Thursday 20 May, 6.30pm

The discipline of archaeology has long been recognised as a canvas for interdisciplinary endeavours. From hard theory to hard science, the questions we ask of the past can be addressed through a plethora of methods, techniques and approaches, using a myriad of evidence, materials and datasets. 

Over the course of his own career, Professor Keith Dobney has developed methodologies for using archaeological science to inform interdisciplinary responses to ‘real-world’ issues, including cultural resilience, nature conservation, livestock improvement in the Horn of Africa, anti-microbial resistance, obesity and even predicting back pain. This talk explores some of these examples with an emphasis on the vital role of museum collections in archaeological science.

Can archaeological science save the world? – Keith Dobney

The discipline of archaeology has long been recognised as a canvas for interdisciplinary endeavours. In this talk, Professor Keith Dobney methodologies for using archaeological science to inform interdisciplinary responses to ‘real-world’ issues, including cultural resilience, nature conservation, livestock improvement in the Horn of Africa, anti-microbial resistance, obesity and even predicting back pain.


Dig site

Can you dig it? 

Panel discussion

Saturday 22 May, 2pm

Dr Craig Barker’s monthly on ABC Radio program Can you dig it? discusses the latest archaeological news and research. Join us for this one-off event as Craig and a panel of experts dissect topical archaeological discoveries and theories from around the globe.  

Can you dig it? – Craig Barker

Dr Craig Barker discusses the latest archaeological news and research around the globe, including the unexpected dating of the Cerne Abbas giant, Roman Neanderthals, pregnant mummies and a 2000 year old poo.


Featured image (top of page): Coffin being CT scanned. Photo by John Magnussen, Courtesy Macquarie Medical Imaging and Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney.