Professor Simon John Holdaway

MA, PhD

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Head of School

Biography

After finishing an MA degree in Anthropology at the University of Otago Simon moved to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia graduating with a PhD in 1991. He taught at The University of Auckland for a year in 1992 before taking up a post-doctoral fellowship at La Trobe University in 1993. Simon subsequently lectured at La Trobe from 1994-1998, returning to The University of Auckland in 1999. He is currently Professor of Anthropology. He holds adjunct Professorial appointments at Macquarie University (in Environment and Geography) and at the University of Queensland (in Archaeology) and was recently a research associate at the University of York and the University of Leiden.
 

Research | Current

  • Archaeology: Australian, Egyptian, New Zealand archaeology; stone artefact analysis; archaeological theory; GIS.

Current research

  1. Human environmental relationships in the tropical north of Australia. With colleagues from Macquarie University, ANU, University of Waikato and QUT I am investigating the coastal archaeology of the Weipa region in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan. We are investigating the large number of shell mounds in the Weipa region studying their construction, chronology and composition. Funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant 2011-2014.
  2. Early agriculture in Egypt with colleagues from UCLA and Rijksuniversiteit. I am interested in how mobile people adapted to variable past environments. The Egyptian research deals with people who were just developing agriculture, adapting to fluctuating desert environments in the mid-Holocene but continuing to pursue a mobile lifestyle. Funded by a Marsden Grant 2012-2015.
  3. The archaeology of Great Mercury Island, New Zealand. We are investigating Maori responsiveness and decision making in a changing environment through integrating the archaeological record and the environmental history of Ahuahu Great Mercury Island. The project is a collaboration with Auckland Museum, Ngati Hei and Sir Michael Fay.

Previous projects

  1. The Western New South Wales Archaeological Project (WNSWAP) with Associate Professor Patricia Fanning, Macquarie University, investigating Holocene surface archaeology from a geoarchaeological perspective. We are particularly interested in issues of chronology and the interpretation of long-term human behaviour as well as stone artefact technology.
  2. I have a long term interest in the study of stone artefacts in general with a particular interest in Australia.
  3. I direct a research group with interests in the historic archaeology of Taranaki, New Zealand. In 2004 we excavated the site of Oropuriri, a 19th century Māori village as a contract for Transit NZ.
     

Teaching | Current

ANTHRO 206 Origins of Civilisation

ANTHRO 322 Special Topic: Origins of Civilisation

ANTHRO 700AB Method and Theory in Archaeology

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD students

  • Josh Emmitt (The University of Auckland)
  • Alex Jorgensen (The University of Auckland)
  • Kasey Alley (The University of Auckland)

Past PhD students

  • Ben Davies (The University of Auckland, completed 2016)
  • Gerard O’Regan (The University of Auckland, completed 2016)
  • Rachel Scott (The University of Auckland, completed 2016)
  • Tessa Bryant (Macquarie University, completed 2014) “Recording archaeological landscapes – the surface Aboriginal record of Western NSW, Australia: Challenges for Cultural Heritage Management”
  • Rebecca Phillipps (University of Auckland, completed) 2012 “Documenting Socio-economic variability in the Egyptian Neolithic through Stone Artefact Analysis”
  • Bridget Mosley (Macquarie University, completed 2012)
  • Matthew Douglass (University of Auckland, completed 2010) “The Archaeological Potential of Informal Lithic Technologies”
  • Justin Shiner (University of Auckland, completed 2004) “Place as Occupational History”
  • Mathew Felgate (University of Auckland, completed 2003) “Reading Lapita in Near Oceania”
  • Patricia Fanning (Macquarie University, completed 2002) “Beyond the Divide”
  • Trudy Doelman (La Trobe University, completed 2002) “Time to Quarry”
  • Christina Pavlides (La Trobe University, completed 1999) “The Story of Imbo”
     

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Fanning, P. C., Holdaway, S. J., & Alley, K. (2016). Geoarchaeology in action: a sedimentological analysis of anthropogenic shell mounds from the Cape York region of Australia. Quaternary International10.1016/j.quaint.2016.09.010
  • Phillipps, R. S., & Holdaway, S. J. (2016). Estimating Core Number in Assemblages: Core Movement and Mobility During the Holocene of the Fayum, Egypt. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 23 (2), 520-540. 10.1007/s10816-015-9250-2
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26744
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca Phillipps
  • (2016). Lake Level Changes, Lake Edge Basins and the Paleoenvironment of the Fayum North Shore, Egypt, during the Early to Mid-Holocene. Open Quaternary, 2.10.5334/oq.19
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/28957
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Rebecca Phillipps
  • Linseele, V., Holdaway, S. J., & Wendrich, W. (2016). The earliest phase of introduction of Southwest Asian domesticated animals into Africa. New evidence from the Fayum Oasis in Egypt and its implications. Quaternary International10.1016/j.quaint.2015.12.028
  • Koopman, A., Kluiving, S., Holdaway, S., & Wendrich, W. (2016). The Effects of Holocene Landscape Changes on the Formation of the Archaeological Record in the Fayum Basin, Egypt. Geoarchaeology, 31 (1), 17-33. 10.1002/gea.21538
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27975
  • Holdaway, S. J., Shiner, J., Fanning, P. C., & Douglass, M. J. (2016). Context and complexity on the arid margins of Australia: Assessing human reponses to an unpredictable environment. In A. P. Sullivan, D. I. Olszewski (Eds.) Archaeological variability and interpretation in global perspective (pp. 99-125). Boulder, Colorado, USA: University Press of Colorado.
  • Holdaway, S., Phillipps, R., Emmitt, J., & Wendrich, W. (2015). The Fayum revisited: Reconsidering the role of the Neolithic package, Fayum north shore, Egypt. Quaternary International10.1016/j.quaint.2015.11.072
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29148
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca Phillipps, Joshua Emmitt
  • Davies, B., Holdaway, S. J., & Fanning, P. (2015). Modelling the palimpsest: an exploratory agent-based model of surface archaeological deposit formation in a fluvial landscape. The Holocene: a major interdisciplinary journal focusing on recent environmental change, 26 (3), 450-463. 10.1177/0959683615609754
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/28443

Contact details

  • Media Contact

Primary location

HUMAN SCIENCES BUILDING - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 4, Room 403
10 SYMONDS ST
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand

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