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Research in Archaeology


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:

  • the origins and meaning of domestication
  • the emergence of social hierarchies
  • the development of technology
  • the interplay of human resource use, environmental change and cultural diversity

Specific projects are listed on individual researchers pages.

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.

View the Otago Archaeological Laboratories page

Southern Pacific Archaeological Research

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.

Visit the SPAR website

Student Research

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 please follow this link:

Completed Theses and Dissertations

The following links contain archives of completed theses and dissertations written by students enrolled in Anthropology. Each item is available to read in our departmental library, and the MA and PhD theses can be interloaned from the University Library. Click to download archives and view the abstract of each completed work.

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