An emerging major centre: Pacific archaeology at The Australian National University (1961–79)

Litster, Mirani, Jones, Tristen, and Howes, Hilary (2022) An emerging major centre: Pacific archaeology at The Australian National University (1961–79). In: Howes, Hilary, Jones, Tristen, and Spriggs, Matthew, (eds.) Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of Archaeology in Oceania. Pacific Series . ANU Press, Canberra, Australia, pp. 501-516.

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Abstract

[Extract] Pacific archaeology at The Australian National University (ANU) developed out of the (then) Research School of Pacific Studies (RSPacS), which was ‘geared to the systematic extension of knowledge by theoretical and empirical study of the vast Pacific region’ (Firth 1996:5; Stewart 2008). Although archaeology was not explicitly within the initial vision for the school in 1946 (Firth 1996:5), by 1959 an advertisement had been placed in the Canberra Times for a fellowship in ‘prehistory’ within the Department of Anthropology and Sociology. Cambridge graduate and formally trained medievalist Jack Golson took up the position in 1961, arriving at ANU from Auckland, where he was previously appointed and had conducted much pioneering Pacific archaeology (Jackson 2014; see also Furey, Chapter 31, this volume). The aim of Golson’s appointment was to ‘devis[e] a programme of research in the archaeologically underdeveloped fields of Australian and Southwest Pacific prehistory […] with a particular commitment to Papua New Guinea’ (Golson 2006:109). Eight years later, in 1969, the Department of Prehistory – the first dedicated archaeology department at ANU – was formed with Golson as foundation professor (Department of Prehistory 1970; see Figure 32.1).

Item ID: 75120
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 9781760464875
Keywords: Pacific archaeology; exhibition; history of archaeology
Copyright Information: This edition © 2022 ANU Press.
Funders: Australian Research Council
Projects and Grants: The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2022 02:42
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451301 Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 21 INDIGENOUS > 2112 Pacific Peoples heritage and culture > 211299 Pacific Peoples heritage and culture not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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