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Martin Polkinghorne

Associate Professor in Archaeology, Flinders University

Martin Polkinghorne is an Associate Professor in Archaeology at Flinders University.

Martin completed his PhD at The University of Sydney focussing on the people and technology that made the temples of Angkor. Between 2011 and 2014 he led an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery project on pre-modern craft economies in Cambodia. This initiative discovered the first historic bronze foundry known in Southeast Asia and continues to excavate at Angkor.

Martin is Lead Chief Investigator of an international consortium on the ARC Linkage Project: 'Reuniting orphaned cargoes: Underwater Cultural Heritage of the Maritime Silk Route'. This project aims to discover the cultural value of the largest Southeast Asian ceramic collections in Indonesia and Australia with archaeological science and to preserve the underwater cultural heritage of our region for future generations.

As a Chief Investigator on the ARC funded Greater Angkor Project's 'Urbanism after Angkor (14th - 18th century CE): re-defining Collapse', Martin seeks to change perceptions of Cambodian history after the demise of Angkor, from depictions of defeat and loss towards recognition of adaptation and renewal. In a complementary research program, Martin led the ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) project 'New Light on Cambodia’s Dark Age: The capitals of Cambodia after Angkor (1350 – 1750)'. These projects have conducted the first archaeological investigations of Cambodia's Early Modern Period capitals on the banks of the Mekong and Tonle Sap arterial rivers. Research of Cambodia during a time of quickening international trade retrieves this period from a perceived Dark Age, and reveals critical linkages between the celebrated Angkorian past and the present-day.

Martin is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Asian Studies Program, The University of Sydney.


  • 2023–present
    Associate professor, Flinders University


  • 2008 
    The University of Sydney, PhD / Archaeology