Currently I am working on a DECRA project titled "Australia's Living Technologies: Bone Tools from First Peoples to Contact". This project will is the first major study of Indigenous Australian bone and tooth based technologies. Through employing sophisticated use wear techniques, it will deduce the cognitive, social, and technological processes behind their manufacture and use, therefore providing new insights into pre-contact Australia, as well as the development of humanity. This project forefronts the role of Modern Humans in Australia in global narratives of human cultural development and supplies a new material culture based perspective on the cultural behaviour of our earliest ancestors.
I am also undertaking technological trace analysis (reconstructing how tools/ornaments were made and used via observation of microscope marks and residues) of bone, ivory, antler, marine shell, and ochre artefacts from around the globe, collaborating with researchers based both here in Australia and abroad to understand the people who produced these artefacts.
My research centres around understanding the origins and development of human behavioural uniqueness, with particular focus on:
- Hunter-gatherer technologies -- how they were made, how they were used, why they were discarded
- Australian archaeology;
- Neanderthal behavioural complexity and interaction with Modern Humans;
- Palaeolithic Europe; and
- Identifying children in the deep past.
Research fellow, Griffith University
University of Oxford, Ph.D.
University of Queensland, M.Phil.
An enduring shell artefact tradition from Timor-Leste: Oliva bead production from the Pleistocene to Late Holocene at Jerimalai, Lene Hara, and Matja Kuru 1 and 2, PLoS ONE
Poison arrows and bone utensils in Late Pleistocene eastern Africa: Evidence from Kuumbi Cave, Zanzibar, Azania
Painted shark vertebrate beads from the Djawumbu-Madjawarrnja Complex, Western Arnhem Land, Australian Archaeology
42,000-year-old worked and pigment-stained Nautilus shell from Jerimalai (Timor-Leste): Evidence for an early coastal adaptation in ISEA, Journal of Human Evolution
A >46,000-year-old macropod bone implement from Carpenter’s Gap 1: Challenging past perspectives of Pleistocene Australia, Quaternary Science Reviews
Investigating maintenance and discard behaviours for osseous projectile points: A Middle to Late Magdalenian (c.19,000 to 14,000 cal. BP) example, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
A newly discovered Magdalenian near complete decorated Baguette Demi-Ronde from Grotte de l’Abbé (Charente, France), Comptes Rendus Paleovol
6,500-year-old Nassarius shell appliqués in Timor-Leste: Technological and use wear analyses, Journal of Archaeological Science
Magdalenian antler projectile point design: Determining original form for uni- and bilaterally barbed points, Journal of Archaeological Science
Long range inland-coastal networks during the late Magdalenian: Evidence for individual acquisition of marine resources at Andernach-Martinsberg, German Central Rhineland, Journal of Human Evolution
Storied landscapes make us (modern) human: Landscape socialisation in the Palaeolithic and consequences for the archaeological record, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
A newly discovered horse engraving from La Madeleine (Dordogne), France, The Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society