2017 Field School Students

Sam Agnew, Dacia Benson, Tara Bowler, Callum Daroch, Sophie Faber, Katrina Francks, Leteisha Lamb, Carrie Hope, Liam Johns, Carissa Madden, Gala Morris, Leela Moses, Catherine Zimmerman

2016 Field School Students

Aaron Apfel, Erna Battenhaussen, Emma Berry, Sian Canton, Michaela Dobson, Abby Donaldson, Andrea Fuerch, Steve Geen, Logan Hamley, Samantha Kropidlowski-Lees, MacKensie Nicol, Patricia Pillay, Zac Smith, Josh Tidy, Rose Young

2015 Field School Students

Sarah Bradley, Logan Cribb, Courtney Dorrington, Kelly Galvin, Doug Gaylard, Richard Giles, Hayley Glover, David Grieg, Becky Hawes, Rosa Kelly, Emma McCall, Amanda McIvor

2014 Field School Students

Mike Caffin, Sherie Crosby, Sarah Forgesson, Lauren Ghoram-Henderson, Anwen Groothuizen-Dijkema, Alex Huerta-Besley, Jennifer Kallio, Jenny Loader, Nicholas Mainwaring, Aimee McMillan, Alex Queenin, Holly Smith, Victoria Sokolich, Gareth Walter

2013 Field School Students

Emma Ash, Jessica Blair, Sophie Boyadijeva, Lizette Coleman, Shannon Darroch, Tremaine Edmonds, Kody Hedder, Rochelle Holland, Nick Keenleyside, Mana Laumea, Liam McDonald, Katherine McKellar, Emma Penty, Alexis Salting, Sayali Sangamnerkar, Bailey Stewart, Leisa Taylor, Corrine Turner

2012 Field School Students

Annette Bartlett, Lydia Bashford, Jessica Bunn, Laura Dawson, Krystle Davies, Terry Grant, Simon Howard, Jennifer Hayman, Zac McIvor, Lisa McKendry, Sophie Miller, Joe Mills, Rebecca Ramsay, Jono Sanders, Tania Te Hira, Francesca Ward



Prof. Simon Holdaway

Archaeology for me began in Form 1 – year 7 in the modern system – with a school project on ‘Early Man’ (it was back in the days of engendered language). I made a clay model of a cave, stole one of my sister’s dolls and painted it in what I thought might be appropriate colours carefully ripping up the doll’s clothes to produce a suitable effect. She never forgave me but the teacher seemed impressed. About the same time I started a school extension program in the Otago Museum – taught by Les Lockerbie. Years later I would discover that Les was one of the founders of modern archaeology in New Zealand but at the time it was the Egyptian mummies and the Greek pottery that fascinated me. My interest in archaeology stayed with me but I didn’t get much opportunity to follow it until university. Here I began to study anthropology quite stunned by the wealth of material on different cultural experiences that was presented. Lectures by the late Prof. Peter Wilson were a highlight. He just talked – not notes, no power points, sitting most often cross legged on a table at the front of the lecture theatre. He told us about social theories for human evolution ranging it seemed across an almost impossible range of topics. My summers quickly developed into times for applying what I had learnt in class. I worked on archaeological excavations in the North Island with University of Auckland archaeologists up the east coast from the Bay of Plenty to the Coromandel. Back in the South I drove an old land-rover around North Otago and South Canterbury excavating for dating samples from numerous ovens.

In the mid 1980s I left Dunedin headed for the University of Pennsylvania on a Fulbright to begin study toward a PhD. Here I had to opportunity to join a new project working in the south of France investigating sites left by the Neanderthals. I ran the day to day field operations on a by-lingual French/English excavation using the (then) latest electronic surveying technology. My own PhD research investigated the shift in stone artefact technology associated with the transition from Neanderthals to modern humans. I left the US at the beginning of the 1990s and shortly thereafter took up a position at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Here I applied much of what I had learnt working in France working first on cave sites from the southwest of Tasmania and later on more recent sites in the outback of western NSW. My research interests developed from understanding stone technologies to understanding how Aboriginal people dealt with the unpredictability of climate change in the past. Currently I have projects looking at the relationship between humans and environment change in the north of Cape York, Australia and in the Fayum region of Egypt. I am investigating some off the earliest sites in Egypt with evidence for domestic plants and animals dated to periods of marked climatic change well before the Pharaohs. In Cape York I plan to investigate how Aboriginal people dealt with shifts in the abundance of both coastal and inland resources in response to changes in the magnitude of the monsoon. In all my fieldwork and research it is student involvement that I most prize. Getting students into the field turns lectures alive and develops their fascination with the past and present human cultures.

Professor Thegn Ladefoged

Louise Furey

I am the Archaeology Curator at Auckland Museum looking after the assemblages of material from NZ archaeological sites and from the rest of the world. I also carry out research on the collections and one of my interests is material culture and analyzing excavated Maori collections to learn more about how tools were made and used. I’ve been involved in a number of archaeological projects on Maori sites in New Zealand, particularly in the northern North Island, and have also carried out investigations on historic European house sites. What some people might consider rubbish, archaeologists consider a treasure trove which helps to tell the story of the past.

I’ve been involved in a number of aspects of archaeology including as researcher, writer of syntheses books about aspects of New Zealand archaeology such as Maori horticulture, consultant advising clients on how to comply with the Historic Places Act and the Resource Management Act and how to protect and preserve archaeological sites, and directed archaeological excavations. Working at the museum is a highlight of my career. I interact with researchers working on our collections and with the public asking what are sometimes challenging questions about archaeology.

I consider myself very lucky to also be able to go on fieldwork expeditions such as the one to Great Mercury Island. Participating in fieldwork and joining in discussions on interpretation of what is being found is important for understanding the bigger picture of settlement of New Zealand – it is also good fun!

Dr Rebecca Phillipps

I am a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland and lecture the field school course (ANTHRO 317).

I received a MA in Ancient History (Egyptology) where I focused on Egyptian language and New Kingdom history.  Before that I completed a BA in Anthropology, Ancient History and Theology.  My interest in field archaeology and science drew me back to Anthropology in 2007, where I began my PhD.  My PhD research focuses on human-environment interaction in the Neolithic, particularly human movement during this crucial period of economic change.  I am currently working on GIS and database management for eResearch across multiple projects and lecturing in the department.

I am really interested in agricultural development and water management in Egypt from prehistoric times through to present day.  I want to know how people dealt with climate change, ecological constraints and food production in the past, and how they continue to do so. My other major interest is the settlement of New Zealand by Polynesians 700 years ago. I am particularly interested in stone artefact analysis as a way of understanding how Polynesians interacted with the NZ environment in the first 1-200 years.  I have worked on the Fayum project since 2004, in addition number of archaeological projects in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and of course Egypt.

Dr Rod Wallace



Alex Jorgensen


Josh Emmitt

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland and working on a number of projects around the world. I received my MA in Anthropology and previously received a BAHons in Anthropology and a BA in Anthropology and Ancient History. My work currently is focusing on the ceramics of the Neolithic occupation of the Fayum Oasis, Egypt, but I am also interested in human-environment interaction as well as human occupation and movement.



Sam Lagos

I will be starting my BA(Hons) in Archaeology in a few short weeks, fresh from completing my Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Anthropology and Ancient History. While I originally came to university to be a school teacher, in my second semester I took ANTHRO 101 and didn’t look back. This will be my second field school – for the 2011 field school on Urupukapuka I investigated the role visibility played in site selection. This year I’ve been helping write the new field manual and will be on the survey team, hoping that the island isn’t hit by a tropical cyclone like last year.