History and archaeology

In ERA 2015, research in history and archaeology received a rating of 4 out of 5 – ‘performance above world standard’ – as did the sub-discipline research area of historical studies.

The scope of research in history and archaeology at Macquarie University is unique in Australia. Temporally, our research spans from the Big Bang and pre-history, through ancient and pre-modern civilisations to the modern and postmodern world. Spatially, our interests cover the globe with a special focus on Europe, Eurasia, Australia and the South Pacific. Our methodological practices are equally diverse, utilising a wide range of archival and archaeological materials, and varying analytical approaches.

International reputation

Macquarie’s historical studies research has an international reputation in the application of trans-disciplinary approaches to the past. Our Ancient Cultures Research Centre utilises a range of approaches to address issues of cultural development and interaction in societies across the ancient Mediterranean region and Eurasia. Additionally, the world-leading Big History Institute fosters a highly original trans-disciplinary approach to world history. This was established from the Big History Project, co-founded by Distinguished Professor David Christian and Microsoft pioneer Bill Gates.

University strengths

Macquarie has established strengths in the broad fields of economic, labour, social, cultural, political and diplomatic history. Subsets within these areas include gender and sexuality, biography and life history, popular culture and sport, media, war and conflict, religion and society, communication networks, social complexity, historical sociolinguistics, and environmental history.

Archaeology research at Macquarie also reflects our trans-disciplinary strengths. Our cross-disciplinary and international collaborations have produced emerging synergies around innovative archaeological applications of technology. The Archaeological Fieldwork Laboratory was established in 2012 to further strengthen these relationships.


The esteem of Macquarie’s scholars is affirmed through the election of nine fellows across the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, in addition to the Royal Historical Society, Royal Asiatic Society, Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Netherlands Society of Sciences and Humanities.

Additional accolades include:
  • Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley (ARC Future Fellow)
  • Associate Professor Javier Alvarez-Mon (ARC Future Fellow)
  • Professor Bronwen Neil (ARC Future Fellow)
  • Dr Brent Nongbri (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award)
  • Dr Clare Monagle (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award)
  • Distinguished Professor Naguib Kanawati (Member of the Order of Australia)
  • Professor Alanna Nobbs (Member of the Order of Australia)
  • Emeritus Professor Edwin Judge (Member of the Order of Australia)
  • Mr Harvey Broadbent (Member of the Order of Australia)


Macquarie’s history and archaeology researchers have also held leadership roles with the:

  • Australian Historical Association
  • NSW History Council
  • International Australian Studies Association
  • International Big History Association.

Macquarie University research centre

Ancient Cultures Research Centre (ACRC) 

  • Associate Professor Malcolm Choat (Director)
  • malcolm.choat@mq.edu.au
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