A leading community of researchers

Our research speaks directly to the contemporary world, helping to solve the challenges we face in the present by examining the past.

Our research includes archaeological, linguistic, and textual studies of a range of cultures from the ancient world to contemporary society; from Ancient Egypt and the Near East, through Greece and Rome from the archaic period to Late Antiquity and Byzantium, Medieval, Renaissance and modern Europe, to Australian, Aboriginal and world history.

Through the study of text and language, material and digital culture, archaeological science, numismatics, and papyrology, we research a wide range of topics, supported by four research centres:

Research themes

Six transhistorical research themes articulate our departmental research program:

Researchers in this theme examine questions of the human lived experience in past environments, including experiences of everyday life, practices of death and commemoration, urban landscapes, and natural environments.

Researchers in this theme examine questions of how societies and cultures have connected in the past and over time, including economic relationships, colonial encounters and interactions, and technological transformations.

Researchers in this theme examine questions of the control, transmission, transfer, production, and reproduction of forms of knowledge, including systems and practices of communication and representation, as well as technologies and the affordances of material culture.

Researchers in this theme examine questions of historical and archaeological practice, including the ways people in the present connect with the past, reflections on teaching, public engagement, historiography, heritage, and the ethics of researching the past.

Researchers in this theme examine questions of identity and belonging in the past, including race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, representation, memory, religious belief and practice, heritage, wealth and consumption, acculturation, multiculturalism and migration.

Researchers in this theme examine the workings of power and the political, including polities of all scales and sizes, ideologies, rulership, institutions, agency, political cultures, and religion.

Postgraduate research

The department is a home for both PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows, and we are actively training the next generation of scholars who will develop new answers to the pressing questions facing society.

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Last updated: 19 Sep 2022