Prof Sue O'Connor

Distinguished Professor
Department of Archaeology and Natural History
School of Culture, History & Language

I am currently conducting major archaeological research projects in Indonesia and East Timor investigating the earliest evidence for human settlement on potential pathways through Wallacea. This project complements and builds on previous research in eastern Maluku, and Papua New Guinea and the Kimberley region of northern Australia which focused on Pleistocene settlement and subsistence and interaction and exchange. I am also interested in the rock art of northern Australia and Island Southeast Asia and evidence for symbolic exchange in the mid to late Holocene.

Career highlights

Awarded Australian Research Council Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship in 2012

Awarded Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship (1999-2003); Project title: Characterising the Island Southeast Asian Neolithic Transition: a comparison of preceramic and ceramic (Neolithic) maritime cultures.

Research interests

Australian and Southeast Asian archaeology; Pleistocene colonisation of Island Southeast Asia, Australia and Papua New Guinea by modern humans and the links between these regions; change and continuity across the boundary of the Neolithic transition in Island Southeast Asia; human impacts on the environment, rock art.

  • Gonzalez, A, Clark, G, O’Connor, S & Matisoo-Smith, L 2013, A 3000 year old dog burial in Timor-Leste Australian Archaeology 76: 13-20.
  • Pannell, S & O’Connor S 2012, Where the wild things are: An exploration of sacrality, danger and violence in confined spaces. In H. Moyes (ed.), Sacred Darkness: A Global Perspective on the Ritual Use of Landscape, pp. 317-330. Boulder: University of Colorado Press.
  • O'Connor, S. 2012. Out of Asia. Australasian Science 33, No. 4: 16-19.
  • McWilliam, A., Bulbeck, D. Brockwell, S. & S. O'Connor 2012. 'The cultural legacy of Makassar stone in East Timor'.The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 13, No. 3: 262-279.