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History and archaeology

Research in history and archaeology at Macquarie University received a rating of 4 out of 5 - 'performance above world standard' - in ERA 2012.

4-rated discipline History and archaeology research
4-rated sub-discipline
  • historical studies

The scope of research in historical studies and archaeology at Macquarie University is unique in Australia, and arguably in the world.

Research spans periods from Eurasian prehistory to the present, utilising modes of evidence from material archaeology to historiographic theory, varying approaches from world history to micro studies, and includes innovative reflection upon the nature of historical inquiry. Research is predominantly undertaken within the disciplines of ancient and modern history.

The University's ancient history research is concentrated in the Macquarie University Ancient Cultures Research Centre, and is distinguished by strengths in early Christianity, Egyptology, Late Antiquity, and Manichaean and Silk Road studies.

Renowned ancient collections

Australia's most prominent centre of Egyptology conducts archaeological work in Egypt that provides data for research on the early Dynastic to Coptic periods.

The Centre also provides world-class research infrastructure including digital and photographic archives of Egyptian wall art gathered on site, Greek and Coptic papyri, and specialist libraries for Egyptology, Manichaean studies and Graeco-Roman documentary research.

The associated Gale Foundation-funded Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies houses a specialist library and over 3000 coins.

Research - History and archaeology

Social, cultural and political change in modern history

In modern history, Macquarie's researchers with expertise in the history of culture, media and politics History and archaeology collaborate across disciplines to explore issues around social, cultural and political change.

World-first in Big history

Macquarie is also recognised internationally as the progenitor of 'Big history', an original interdisciplinary approach to world history developed by Professor David Christian. Big history draws upon research in cognate fields and the sciences. Big history has recently been taken up by the Gates Foundation as a model history curriculum to be developed for schools in the USA.

Media history

The Centre for Media History, the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere, facilitates interdisciplinary research on the history of journalism, television and film. It has close links with industry and with international scholars. The Media History Centre website hosts online databases, bibliographies and the Media Archives Project and is the central portal for all researchers in Australian media history.

National and international collaborations

Collaborations involve joint authorship and funding, editorial work, and research teambuilding, including significant collaborations at the international and national levels, as well as across disciplines at Macquarie.

International collaborations include projects with the Universities of Cambridge, Göttingen and London, the British Museum, and the Quanzhou Maritime Museum.

Collaboration and co-publication is also actively fostered with Egyptian colleagues and the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Fellowships and awards for research in history and archaeology

  • Leverhulme Visiting Professorship - Professor Sam Lieu
  • Columbia University Visiting Professorship - Adjunct Professor Heike Behlmer
  • Feodor Lynen Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship - Dr Alexander Weiss
  • Leverhulme Visiting Fellow - Dr Leigh Boucher
  • The Australian Historical Association's Mary Bennett Prize - Dr Rebecca Jennings
  • The State Library of NSW Fellowship -Dr Mark Hearn
  • The NSW History Council Fellowship - Dr Michelle Arrow
  • NSW Premier's Literary Prize - Dr Hsu-Ming Teo
  • NSW Premier's History Prize - Dr Michelle Arrow and Dr Hsu-Ming Teo
  • Miles Franklin Literary Prize - Emeritus Professor Jill Roe
  • Magarey Medal for Biography - Professor Mary Spongberg
  • Man Asia literary Prize - Dr Hsu-Ming Teo
  • Prime Minister's Australian History Prize - Dr Michelle Arrow

Macquarie University research centre

Ancient Cultures Research Centre
Professor Naguib Kanawati