The earliest sea voyages to Australia: Maps, models, and anecdotes from the field

Event details


Date & time

Monday 29 June 2020


Online - Zoom


Dr Shimona Kealy


School of Culture, History & Language

Additional links

Synapse Seminar Series with Dr Shimona Kealy


The archaeological evidence in Australia is currently the oldest, indirect evidence for seafaring by our species – anywhere in the world. The reason for this, the islands to the north west (modern-day Indonesia and Timor-Leste) have never been connected to the mainland, necessitating multiple sea crossings from mainland South East Asia in order to reach Australia.

In this talk, Dr Shimona Kealy discusses the archaeological record from the region as it currently stands, highlighting some of the gaps in our current understanding of early movements of people throughout the region. She will then share the results of her recent modelling efforts to determine the most-likely route people may have initially travelled through this island archipelago.

The models utilised a variety of geological and geographical techniques to reconstruct the palaeo-seascape and how it might have been viewed by its earliest human explorers, modelling paths of least resistance (Least-Cost) throughout.

Dr Kealy will then discuss how the results of these models revealed key islands for further archaeological investigation and share some of the preliminary findings from her latest field adventures to these very localities.

This event will be hosted via Zoom.

The event will be a public seminar and will be recorded.

The recording will be made available after the event through the Synapse Trans-Disciplinary Seminar Series page.

Register for details on how to join.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster