Classics and Archaeology
Classics and Archaeology research environment
The Classics and Archaeology program is one of the leading international centres for the study of the ancient world. Staff in the program are involved in ground breaking research projects, many of which are funded by the Australian Research Council. Current projects range from fieldwork and archaeological surveys to the development of award-winning multimedia study resources. The program offers access to world-class research facilities such as the classics and archaeology collection at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.
Staff expertise ranges from the analysis of material artefacts to the study of ancient texts and culture and their theoretical and methodological implications. The published work of our staff reflects these research strengths as does the current research undertaken by graduates within the program. Read through the sections for more information.
The Classics and Archaeology program embraces and seeks to advance the broad study of the Mediterranean including classical Greece and Rome, the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations of prehistoric Greece, as well as Egypt, the Near East, and the fringe of the Eurasian steppes (including central Asia) from the origins of settled life (c. 10,000 BCE) to the Late Antique period (5th century CE). Within this vast, but interconnected region, the program maintains continuity and coherence by emphasising the role of overlapping periods and shared border zones in the development of cultures and civilizations. The program also encourages a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to the ancient world through our engagement in the study of ancient languages (Greek, Latin, Akkadian, Egyptian, and Syriac) and/or texts in translation including myth, literature, history, religion, and philosophy as well as with the study of material culture (archaeological remains, art, and architectural monuments).
Although each staff member is involved in particular research projects, we are a community of scholars united by our research interests in the study of identity (gender and ethnic), archaeological and anthropological theory, the archaeology, history, prehistory, study of great transitional periods in the regions noted above, architecture, colonization and migration, historiography, ethnography, ancient ceramics, collections and heritage management, and many other themes.
The Classics and Archaeology program is one of the leading international centres for the study of the ancient world. Research in the program is groud-breaking with staff involved in a number of projects, many of which are funded by the Australian Research Council. Current projects range from fieldwork and archaeological surveys to the development of award-winning multimedia study resources.
The Classics and Archaeology Library
The Classics and Archaeology program has a library of about 10,000 books that include Classical texts, dictionaries and works of reference. There is also a large Archaeology collection, which includes a number of rare periodicals and excavation reports on Classical, near Eastern and Egyptian archaeology.
Equipped with microscopes, drawing facilities and an archaeological study collection, the laboratory is used for practical classes. It is also available to graduates for their research.
Location: The Archaeology Laboratory is located in Rooms 224 and 225 in Old Arts (Building 149)
The Classics and Archaeology Collection in the Ian Potter Museum of Art
Researchers in the program have the unique advantage of drawing upon the University's Classics and Archaeology Collection.
Location: The collection is located at The Ian Potter Museum of Art.
The Grimwade Centre laboratories support our ongoing research and teaching of best practice in cultural materials conservation and were made possible by a very generous donation from the Cripps Foundation. These laboratories support our ongoing research and teaching of best practice in cultural materials conservation and were made possible by a very generous donation from the Cripps Foundation.
The Grimwade Centre is a joint initiative of the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science and the Ian Potter Museum of Art in recognition of the potential for unique interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of cultural materials conservation. The Centre brings together the broad academic expertise of the two Faculties with existing programs at the Ian Potter Art Conservation Centre and the University of Melbourne Cultural Collections, to explore new areas in instrumentation and analysis, knowledge creation, policy and programs in the area of the preservation of cultural materials.
Materials conservation research laboratory
Our research laboratory is dedicated to PhD, Post Doctorate and staff research for the materials analysis and characterisation of cultural materials. With a focus on portable instrumentation, the research laboratory also hosts accelerated ageing equipment, microscopy, environmental monitoring, spectroscopy and colourimetry. For high resolution analytical techniques we access the Faculties of Science and Engineering for GCMS, SEM EDS, Raman, 3D imaging and printing, and many more.
Some of the instrumentation we use include:
- Bruker Alpha FTIR ATR Spectrometer
- Bruker Handheld XRF
- Olympus BX 51 microscope
- Thermal ageing ovens
For enquiries email Dr Petronella Nel.
The History program at the University of Melbourne is internationally recognised for its research excellence and its outstanding contributions to specialist areas of study in the humanities and social sciences. In recognition of its high standing, Historical Studies (FoR Code 2103) at the University of Melbourne was rated in the top category of 5 ('well above world standard') in the State of Australian University Research 2015-16: Volume 1 ERA National Report, which applied to research undertaken between 1 January 2008 - 31 December 2013. Research in History is supported by outstanding library resources in book, microform and digital forms.
Research in History is conducted by its Teaching and Research Staff; by scholars holding Australian Research Council Professorial Fellowships, ARC Future Fellowships, ARC Early Career Research Awards, and McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowships; and by researchers in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (1100-1800). The History program has been highly successful in securing Australian Research Council and other competitive funding for research projects, and contributes to scholarly and public engagement about history and its role in our contemporary world. Scholars in History conduct research collaboratively with colleagues in other disciplines and universities both nationally and internationally.
History and Philosophy of Science
History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) is a Faculty of Arts discipline with very strong connections to, and synergies with, disciplines in other faculties - most notably in Science, Engineering and Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. A central function for research in HPS remains the bridging of the gap between the different research traditions and research cultures.
HPS regards itself as enabling communication between disciplines, in a period where the divergence between science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and humanities, arts, and social sciences (HASS) disciplines has become more manifest. This involves a continued critical debate with STEM disciplines about the nature and implications of scientific research, but also an engagement with HASS disciplines about the cultural relevance of the sciences. A particular project within this framework focuses on the history of Australian science, as a broad collaboration with the University of Melbourne Archives and Museums and Collections as well as the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (AAHPSSS).
Jewish Culture and Society
In its research, The Program in Jewish Culture and Society aims:
- to provide a program that advances research and scholarship that engages with the full richness and diversity of Hebrew language, Israeli society, Jewish civilisation and its contribution to the world
- to promote and stimulate and the whole gamut of Jewish studies and research at the University of Melbourne with a strong multi-disciplinary focus on contemporary Jewish life and experience
- to pursue and foster excellence in research and to promote the continuing study of Jewish culture, life, language and society at the highest academic levels
- to encourage scholars to participate in a range of fields including the broad spectrum of Hebrew and Judaic studies, education, sociology, comparative literature history and political science
- to establish collaborative research relationships across the University and the national and international scholarly communities
- to serve as an exceptional public resource and as an hub of research initiatives that enable local, national and international communities to gain a deeper understanding of the diversity of Judaism's intellectual, cultural and religious tradition
Research in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne covers the two discipline areas of 'Philosophy' and 'Applied Ethics'.
Research in the two disciplinary clusters ranges across the entire spectrum, from pure basic research to applied research. Pure basic research in Philosophy spans the core areas of theoretical philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, philosophy of science), practical philosophy (ethics, political philosophy, moral psychology, metaethics, aesthetics), and history of philosophy (Ancient philosophy, Asian philosophy, history of modern philosophy, history of 19th and 20th century European philosophy, and history of early analytic philosophy).
We also engage in strategic basic research aimed at richer theoretical understandings of important social problems including the morality of terrorism, social justice and poverty both global and national, bioethics, and reasoning under uncertainty in the context of climate change debate. In addition, our applied research targets topics such as taxation and distributive justice, climate change justice, the ethics of food production and consumption, ownership of indigenous knowledge, and social organisation in multi-faith societies.