Dr Bruno David

Bruno has been working on collaborative cultural history projects with Indigenous communities in northern Australia and Papua New Guinea since the 1980s.  He has broad-ranging interests on the deep and more recent archaeological history of Aboriginal Australia and has been prolific in publishing on Indigenous archaeology.  His role in Connecting Country is to ensure the standardisation and scientific integrity of the research, the prompt presentation of results to the Jawoyn Association, to maintain regular contact with the Association and to ensure that all appropriate cultural and scientific protocols are followed at the highest standard by all the scientific project participants.

Bruno has been charged by the Jawoyn Association to assemble a team of world-class scientists to undertake the research for Connecting Country. He will direct archaeological excavations at a number of sites and analyse excavated materials from those sites. He is in contact with the Jawoyn Association’s Cultural and Environment Manager at least once a week year-round.

Bruno is one of Australia’s most active research archaeologists. He has directed archaeological excavations and rock art research projects in Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Mexico (U.S.A.) and Vanuatu. In 2007 he was awarded The Bruce Veitch Award for Excellence in Indigenous Engagement at the Australian Archaeological Association, Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology, Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists, Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology, and The Australian Association for Maritime History combined conference, representing Australia’s peak archaeology bodies. He was lead author of the paper that won the Antiquity Prize from the international (U.K.-based) archaeology journal Antiquity for best article of 1994, archaeologically exploring the history of the Dreaming of Aboriginal Australia.

Bruno has published some 300 scientific and popular articles and 10 books relating to Indigenous archaeology, and was asked by the World Archaeological Congress (WAC) to edit the inaugural volume of the WAC Research Handbooks in Archaeology series, the Handbook of Landscape Archaeology (2008, edited by Bruno David and Julian Thomas, published by Left Coast Press in the U.S.A.).

Bruno’s publications include:


DAVID, B., L. Manas and M. Quinnell (eds) 2008. Gelam’s Homeland: Cultural and Natural History on the Island of Mua, Torres Strait. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, Cultural Heritage Series 4(2). Queensland Museum, Brisbane.

DAVID, B. and J. Thomas (eds) 2008. Handbook of Landscape Archaelogy. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek.

DAVID, B., B. Barker and I.J. McNiven (eds) 2006. The Social Archaeology of Australian Indigenous Societies. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

DAVID, B. 2006. Landscapes, Rock-art and the Dreaming: An Archaeology of Preunderstanding. Leicester University Press, London.

DAVID, B. and M. Wilson (eds) 2002. Inscribed Landscapes: Marking and Making Place. University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu.

Kershaw, P., B. DAVID, N. Tapper, D. Penny and J. Brown (eds) 2002. Bridging Wallace’s Line: The Environmental and Cultural History and Dynamics of the Australian-Southeast Asian Region. Advances in Geoecology 34, Catena Verlag GMBH, Reiskirchen.


Thangavelu, A., B. DAVID, B. Barker, J.-M. Geneste, J.-J. Delannoy, L. Lamb, N. Araho and R. Skelly 2011. Morphometric analyses of Batissa violacea shells from Emo (OAC), Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea. Archaeology in Oceania 46:67-75.

McNiven, I.J., B. DAVID, T. Richards, K. Aplin, S. Ulm, B. Asmussen, J. Mialanes, M. Leavesley, P. Faulkner and S. Ulm 2011. New direction in human colonisation of the Pacific: Lapita settlement of south coast New Guinea. Australian Archaeology 72:1-6.

Moffat, I., B. DAVID, B. Barker, A. Kuaso, R. Skelly and N. Araho 2011. Magnetometer surveys in archaeological research in Papua New Guinea: Keveoki I, Gulf Province. Archaeology in Oceania 46:17-22.

Skelly, R., B. DAVID, I.J. McNiven and B. Barker 2011. The ritual dugong bone mounds of Koey Ngurtai, Torres Strait, Australia: Investigating their construction. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 21:32-54.

McNiven, I.J., B. DAVID, K. Aplin, M. Pivoru, W. Pivoru, A. Sexton, J. Brown, C. Clarkson, K. Connell, J. Stanisic, M. Weisler, S. Haberle, A. Fairbairn and N. Kemp 2010. Historicising the present: Late Holocene emergence of a rainforest hunting camp, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea. Australian Archaeology 71:41-56.

Geneste, J.-M., B. DAVID, H. Plisson, C. Clarkson, J.-J. Delannoy, F. Petchey and R. Whear 2010. Earliest evidence for ground-edge axes: 35,400±410 cal BP from Jawoyn country, Arnhem Land. Australian Archaeology 71:66-69.

Nakata, M. and B. DAVID 2010. Archaeological practice at the Cultural Interface. In J. Lydon and U.Z. Rizvi (eds), Handbook of Postcolonial Archaeology, pp. 429-443. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek.

DAVID, B., J.-M. Geneste, K. Aplin, J.-J. Delannoy, N. Araho, C. Clarkson, K. Connell, S. Haberle, B. Barker, L. Lamb, J. Stanisic, A. Fairbairn, R. Skelly and C. Rowe 2010. The Emo site (OAC), Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea: Resolving long-standing questions of antiquity and implications for the history of the ancestral hiri maritime trade. Australian Archaeology 70:39-54.

Goodall, R.A., B. DAVID, P. Kershaw and P.M. Fredericks 2009. Prehistoric hand stencils at Fern Cave, North Queensland (Australia): Environmental and chronological implications of Raman spectroscopy and FT-IR imaging results. Journal of Archaeological Science 36:2617-2624.

McNiven, I.J., B. DAVID, Goemulgau Kod and J. Fitzpatrick 2009. The great kod of Pulu: Mutual historical emergence of ceremonial sites and social groups in Torres Strait, northeast Australia. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 19:291-317.

DAVID, B., I.J. McNiven, J. Crouch, Mura Badulgal Corporation Committee, R. Skelly, B. Barker, K. Courtney and G. Hewitt 2009. Koey Ngurtai: The emergence of a ritual domain in Western Torres Strait. Archaeology in Oceania 44:1-17.

Langton, M. and B. DAVID 2007. Talking country: The concept of art in Yolngu culture. In H. Perkins and M. West (eds), One Sun One Moon: Aboriginal Art in Australia, pp. 67-72. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

DAVID, B., R.G. Roberts, J. Magee, J. Mialanes, C. Turney, M. Bird, C. White, L.K. Fifield and J. Tibby 2007. Sediment mixing at Nonda Rock: Investigations of stratigraphic integrity at an early archaeological site in northern Australia and implications for the human colonisation of the continent. Journal of Quaternary Science 22:449-479.

Clarke, S.J., G.H. Miller, C.V. Murray-Wallace, B. DAVID and J.M. Pasveer 2007. The geochronological potential of isoleucine epimerisation in cassowary and megapode eggshells from archaeological sites. Journal of Archaeological Science 34:1051-1063.

DAVID, B. and Mura Badulgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation Committee 2006. What happened in Torres Strait 400 years ago? Ritual transformations in an island seascape. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 1:123-43.

DAVID, B. 2006. Indigenous rights and the mutability of cultures: Tradition, change and the politics of recognition. In L. Russell (ed.), Boundary Writing: An Exploration of Race, Culture, and Gender Binaries in Contemporary Australia, pp. 122-148. University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu.

To read more about Bruno’s work please visit here