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8 May 2003

Australians are being encouraged to broaden their understanding of the nation's unique archaeological heritage during the inaugural National Archaeology Week, with a program of events across the country starting this Saturday.

'Archaeology tends to conjure up images of dinosaurs, Indiana Jones and pyramids for many Australians,' said National Archaeology Week convenor and National Museum archaeologist Michael Westaway.

'We've had spectacular archaeological discoveries at places like Lake Mungo, but Archaeology Week will highlight many more, along with the cutting-edge work of Australian archaeologists at home and across the globe.'

Some highlights of the National Archaeology Week program, from 11-18 May, include:

  • The Aboriginal Peopling of Australia: What We Do And Don't Know: Leading paleoanthropologist Professor Colin Groves returns from the Congo to explain Australia's role in the Out of Africa theory on the origins of humans. Canberra.
  • Archaeology of the Keppel Islands: Mike Rowland reveals the rich archaeological record of one of Australia's favourite holiday destinations, once a thriving maritime economy. Rockhampton.
  • Unearthing Evil: Emeritus Professor Richard Wright outlines how archaeology is used to investigate war crimes. Melbourne and Sydney.
  • Maritime Archaeology: Qualified scuba divers will cover how to find and survey shipwrecks in two-day courses being run by the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology and the Nautical Archaeology Society. Darwin, Fremantle, Melbourne.
  • Colonial History Tours: Learn how the foundations of our cities and towns reveal the stories of people who did not have the luxury or means of recording their history. Burra (SA), Melbourne, Port Macquarie, Toowoomba, Maylands (WA).
  • Iraqi Cultural Heritage Forums: Expert panellists discuss Mesopotamia's reputation as the 'cradle of civilisation' and the future of Iraq's cultural heritage today. Armidale and Canberra.
  • Mungo National Park Tours: Aboriginal heritage officers and National Parks and Wildlife Service archaeologists explore the NSW park's World Heritage Listed sites

Full state listings and details:

For more information please contact Michael Westaway on 02 6208 5249, 0417 299 188 or

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