Dr Rebecca Simone Phillipps

BA (UoA) MA (UoA) PhD (UoA)

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Senior Lecturer


After completing an BA in Classics and Ancient History and Anthropology from The University of Auckland 2004, Rebecca obtained a MA (First Class Hon) in Ancient History from The University of Auckland 2006. Her thesis examined surface archaeological remains dating to the mid-Holocene in the Fayum Egypt. In 2007, Rebecca began her doctoral research ath The University of Auckland comparing human mobility between three locations in Egypt occupied during the Neolithic. She analyzed stone artefacts from the Fayum, Sa' el-Hagar (Sais), and Nabta Playa. Since graduating in 2012, Rebecca has worked as a Professional Teaching Fellow in Anthropology, and in 2013 began a three year Post Doctoral Research Fellowship.


Research | Current

  • Archaeology (New Zealand and Egyptian)
  • Stone artefact analysis
  • GIS

Current field projects:

  • Ahuahu Great Mercury Island Archaeological Project
  • UCLA/RUG/UoA Fayum Project

My research includes environmental productivity, predictability and sustainability in the Holocene, particularly in the context of the development of agriculture and subsequent state formation in the Middle East and North Africa. I am also interest in stone artefact studies in different parts of the world including New Zealand, Australia and Egypt. My most recent research examines the use of stone resources in New Zealand during the earliest phases of Polynesian arrival in New Zealand.

Part of my Post Doctoral research involved developing a robust recording protocol and data management system to be used by staff and students for the Ahuahu Great Mercury Island Project. This included the development of an in-field recording system and data management through a relational database and GIS.

I am interested in the development of archaeological method and theory, through the use of innovative field recording and analytical techniques, particularly those that are non-destructive to archaeological remains.  These include investigation of post-depositional processes, remote survey techniques, non-destructive pedestrian and intensive survey, geological surface dating and electronic field data recording methods, and GIS and eResearch applications. 

Teaching | Current

ANTHRO 252 Global Heritage Management

Postgraduate supervision


Doug Gaylard (MA)

Rose Young (BAHons)

Jess Blair (BAHons)

Abby Donaldson (BAHons)

Sian Canton (BAHons)


Amanda McIvor (BAHons)

Rebecca Ramsay (BAHons)

Sarah Ricketts (BAHons)


Areas of expertise

Archaeology, stone artefact analysis, GIS, data management, New Zealand archaeology, Egyptian archaeology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Holdaway, S., & Phillipps, R. (2020). Artefact Categories, Artefact Assemblages and Ontological Alterity. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, online first10.1017/S095977432000030X
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Holdaway
  • Furey, L., Phillipps, R., Emmitt, J., McAlister, A., & Holdaway, S. (2020). A large trolling lure shank from Ahuahu Great Mercury Island, New Zealand. The journal of the Polynesian Society, 129 (1), 85-112. 10.15286/jps.129.1.85-110
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Simon Holdaway
  • Emmitt, J., Phillipps, R., Koopman, A., Barrett, M., Wendrich, W., & Holdaway, S. (2020). Kom W and X Basin: Erosion, Deposition, and the Potential for Village Occupation. African Archaeological Review10.1007/s10437-020-09370-1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Holdaway, Joshua Emmitt
  • Emmitt, J., & Phillipps, R. (2019). The Archaeology of Western Sahara: A Synthesis of Fieldwork, 2002 to 2009, edited by Joanne Clarke and Nick Brooks [Book Review]. Journal of African Archaeology10.1163/21915784-20190010
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/48946
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt
  • Phillipps, R., Emmitt, J., Barrett, M., Wendrich, W., & Holdaway, S. (2019). Kom W in context IV: synthesis and new directions for Neolithic research in Egypt. Paper presented at International Symposium Society and subsistence in the prehistory of Northeastern Africa, Poznań, Poland. 1 July - 4 July 2019.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Matthew Barrett, Simon Holdaway
  • Holdaway, S., Emmitt, J., Phillipps, R., Barrett, M., & Wendrich, W. (2019). Kom W, Fayum North Shore, Egypt, in context: Reconsidering the evidence for an early Neolithic Village. Kom W in context I.. Paper presented at International Symposium: Society and subsistence in the prehistory of Northeastern Africa, Poznań. 1 July - 4 July 2019.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Simon Holdaway, Matthew Barrett
  • Emmitt, J., Littleton, J., Young, R., & Phillipps, R. (2019). Digitizing Roonka: The creation of a 3D representation from archival records. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, 1310.1016/j.daach.2019.e00094
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46607
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Judith Littleton
  • Holdaway, S. J., Emmitt, J., Phillipps, R., & Masoud-Ansari, S. (2019). A Minimalist Approach to Archaeological Data Management Design. JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL METHOD AND THEORY, 26 (2), 873-893. 10.1007/s10816-018-9399-6
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45952
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Holdaway, Joshua Emmitt

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 8, Room 853
New Zealand

Social links

Web links