The Anthropology programme has maintained active research projects in Archaeology and Social Anthropology since the 1960s. Our primary geographic focus has always been New Zealand, the Pacific and Southeast Asia. We specialise in the broad sweep of human history within this region, from the earliest arrivals of our human ancestors to contemporary patterns of increasing globalisation and diaspora.
The Department publishes a monograph series in Archaeology, and coordinates the publication of the academic journal: Journal of Pacific Archaeology. We also put out an ongoing series of Otago Archaeological Laboratory Reports.
Otago archaeologists undertake research in both prehistoric and historical archaeology, focussed mainly within New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and South East Asia. These investigations explore local issues as well as addressing questions of global significance including:
Research facilities include the Otago Archaeological Laboratories which support specialised analysis of artefacts, fauna, lithics, sediments, and DNA. Established partnerships with the leading archaeological heritage management agencies throughout the region facilitate the continued development of new research projects.
Southern Pacific Archaeological Research (SPAR) is a research and consulting unit within the Anthropology Department. SPAR staff undertake projects in the fields of archaeology and cultural heritage management in New Zealand and the South Pacific. SPAR staff also have an active research programme in New Zealand and Pacific archaeology.
The Anthropology programme has a long history of supporting student research, and we consider this research to be amongst our most valuable outputs. To browse current student research topics and read the abstracts of completed projects please follow these links: