Associate Professor Jonathan Prangnell

Associate Professor

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 52887


Research Interests

  • Social Archaeology of 19th and 20th Century Southeast Queensland
    The social archaeology of nineteenth and early twentieth century Queensland includes research projects examining family and social life, at various scales, particularly at frontier and resource extraction locales. Research sites have included Caboonbah Homestead in the Brisbane Valley (pastoralism), Agaston on the Gold Coast (the development of the sugar industry), Bankfoot House (mixed farming), Mill Point (timber getting), St Lawrence (a port town servicing copper mines and cattle stations), Paradise (gold mining), and Ravenswood (gold and silver mining). These projects tie together to allow an examination of Queensland frontier life (at various strata), Victorianism, capitalism, colonialism, industrial development, and social relationships. These projects have so far produced seven conference papers presented internationally, seven nationally, a book, a book chapter, 12 journal articles, five completed PhDs, one on-going PhD and four completed Honours theses.
  • Burial Taphonomy
    This project relates to the archaeological and social transformations that resulted in the creation of the archaeological record of the North Brisbane Burial Grounds – a cemetery housing the remains of up to 10,000 colonists. To date this research has produced 7 journal articles, 2 completed PhDs, and numerous Honours projects. I currently have six research projects on-going in this area: • Forensic research to identify a burns victim in the Roman Catholic cemetery; • Examination of the impact of variable degrees of sediment pressure across the cemetery (this follows closely on the Journal of Archaeological Science paper on the development of a method for calculating soil pressures); • The identification of various land fill leachates within the Burial Grounds and their various taphonomic affects; • The role of salt in the taphonomic degradation of metals and woods within the Burial Grounds; • The investigation of negative textile impressions to broaden the scope of the paper published in 2013 in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology; and • The development of a multivariate formula of the taphonomic signature of the Burial Grounds.
  • Archaeology, Collections and Australian South Sea Islander Lived Identities
    Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSIs) are not indigenous to Australia, nonetheless they have a distinctive and vibrant indigenous culture. Their stories involve an ongoing, 150-plus year history of struggle for rights and recognition. Having written little about themselves, most of these stories are on and in the ground in the places that ASSIs have inhabited, and in the objects they have left behind. This research integrates archaeology, museology, and cultural landscape research to weave together histories of ASSI lives and communities in partnership with living ASSI communities, in order to raise awareness about the ASSI past in Queensland society, and to contribute to senses of ASSI identity in the present and future.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), The University of Queensland


View all Publications



Book Chapter

  • Prangnell, Jonathan and Quirk, Kate (2013). Assuming the aspect of a civilized place: methodists in paradise. In James Symonds, Anna Badcock and Jeff Oliver (Ed.), Historical archaeologies of cognition: explorations into faith, hope and charity (pp. 87-97) Sheffield, S Yorks, United Kingdom: Equinox Publishing Ltd.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Haslam, Michael, Prangnell, Jonathan, Kirkwood, Luke, McKeough, Anthony, Murphy, Adrian and Loy, Thomas H. (2003). A Lang Park mystery: Analysis of remains from a 19th century burial in Brisbane, Queensland. In: , , (1-7). . doi:10.1080/03122417.2003.11681743

  • Ulm, Sean, Westcott, Catherine, Reid, Jill, Ross, Anne, Lilley, Ian, Prangnell, Jonathan and Kirkwood, Luke (2002). Preface: Barriers, Borders, Boundaries. In: S. Ulm, C. Westcott, J. Reid, A. Ross, I. Lilley, J. Prangnell and L. Kirkwood, Tempus: Barriers, Borders, Boundaries: Proceedings of the 2001 Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference. 2001 Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference, Hervey Bay, QLD, (vii-viii). 6-8 December 2001.

  • Prangnell, J. M. (2000). 'The lepers were glad to get out of sight': Archaeological evidence for the use of visual and spatial elements of control of the Peel Island Lazaret. In: Archaeology, Heritage and Tourism Conference Abstracts. Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology Conference, Adelaide, (12). Novemeber, 2000.

  • Hall, Jay, O'Connor, Sue, Prangnell, Jon M. and Smith, Jim (2000). *TARDIS: Teaching archaeological research discipline in simulation. In: Effective Teaching and Learning at University: Effective Teaching Conference. Effective Teaching and Learning Conference 2000, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, (). 9 - 10 November 2000.

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision