22 December 2008

UQ archaeology experts have recently hosted a national conference and been singled out for their commitment to research and Indigenous engagement.

The School of Social Science successfully staged the Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) annual conference at Noosa from December 3-6, with the event attended by a record 330 delegates.

UQ was well represented, with at least eight current and former staff and around 20 students in attendance, most of whom also played a crucial role as volunteers and audiovisual assistants.

Conference conveners Dr Chris Clarkson, Dr Patrick Faulkner and Dr Andrew Fairbairn said they wished to thank everyone involved for helping the conference run so smoothly.

“The School of Social Science can be very proud of the way the conference went and its exceptional performance in presentations, team work and of course, awards,” Dr Clarkson said.

School staff and students received eight out of ten of the formal prizes awarded by the AAA executive at the conclusion of the event. These were:

Best Overall Paper: “The multiplicity of uses of Australian backed artefacts” by Dr Gail Robertson (UQ), Val Attenbrow (Australian Museum) and Peter Hiscock (ANU)

Best Overall Paper (Commended): “Toba and Beyond: Preliminary results of recent excavations at Toba ash sites, rock shelters and limestone caves in the Kurnool and Middle Son Districts, India” by Dr Chris Clarkson and Tam Smith (both UQ)

Best Student Paper (Commended): “Use-wear and Residue Analysis of Aboriginal Ethnographic Wooden Spears - Preliminary Comparative Results of a Work in Progress” by Susan Nugent (UQ)

Waikato Radiocarbon Award for best paper using radiocarbon dates: “Patterns of predation: Human exploitation of Anadara granosa, Blue Mud Bay, north Australia” by Dr Patrick Faulkner (UQ)

Best poster: “Analysis of the Watinglo Plant Macrofossil Assemblage, Northern Lowlands, Papua New Guinea” by Joann Bowman (UQ Honours student)

Best student poster: “The Chosen Ones: A Morphological and Technological Approach to Understanding Manufacture and Selection of Stone Leilira Blades” by Clair Harris (UQ Honours student).

In addition, the Bruce Veitch Award for Excellence in Indigenous Engagement was presented to UQ’s Dr Annie Ross while colleague Dr Sean Ulm was granted life membership for outstanding services to the field of Australian archaeology.

Media: Melinda Kopanakis from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (07 3365 8820, m.kopanakis@uq.edu.au)