Emeritus Professor Ian Lilley

Emeritus Professor

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Emeritus Professor Ian Lilley FSA FAHA (BA Hons, MA Qld, PhD ANU) is an academic leader whose interests focus on archaeology and cultural heritage in Australasia, the Indo-Pacific and globally.

Ian is an archaeologist in the School of Social Science, to where he moved in 2019 after 25 years leading the academic program in UQ's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit (ATSIS). He also has a continuing visiting appointment as Willem Willems Chair for Contemporary Issues in Archaeological Heritage Management at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Leiden is continental Europe's leading university in archaeology and amongst the global Top 10 in the discipline. In addition, he is an Advisor to the Centre for Global Heritage and Development (Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam).

Ian's Honours and Masters research examined the archaeology of Southeast Queensland. Following ground-breaking work in Papua New Guinea with the Australian Museum, Ian then did his PhD on ancient maritime trading systems which linked the New Guinea mainland and nearby Bismarck Archipelago. He built on that project with a UQ Postdoctoral Fellowship, for which he won National Geographic funding to return to PNG. He has since undertaken archaeological and cultural heritage research, consultancies and advisory missions throughout Australia, in Asia and the Pacific Islands and in North and South America. Ian's current heritage research focuses on global issues regarding World Heritage, the World Bank and transnational corporations in the extractive industries sector, particularly in relation to Indigenous people and other descendent communities. He is also an accredited Investigator with the US Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). In this capacity, he provides strategic advice to the US Defense Department regarding the recovery of missing service members from WWII to the present and coordinates field missions to locate missing personnel. Archaeologically he is working with French colleagues on long-term developments in New Caledonia. He supervises PhD and MPhil research projects in many different schools across the university, as well as others at Leiden.

Ian is a Fellow and immediate past Vice President and International Secretary of the Australian Academy of Humanities, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. At UQ, Ian is a Senior Research Associate in the Centre for Policy Futures in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and a Research Group Leader in the Centre for Marine Science in the School of Biological Science. He also maintains links with the UQ ATSIS Unit. Externally, Ian is a member of Australia ICOMOS, an ICOMOS World Heritage Assessor and immediate past Secretary-General of the ICOMOS International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM). He sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area and the Conservation Advisory Committee for the Port Arthur World Heritage site complex. In addition, he is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (member, WCPA Protected Landscapes Specialist Group) and the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (member, Theme on Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, Equity and Protected Areas). In these capacities, he undertakes IUCN assessments of World Heritage cultural landscapes. ICOMOS and IUCN are the statutory independent Advisory Bodies to UNESCO on cultural and natural heritage respectively, and Ian is one of the few people globally who is a member of both bodies. He is also immediate past Secretary-General of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, the region's peak professional archaeological body, and immediate past Chair of and continuing Advisor to the International Government Affairs Committee of the Society for American Archaeology, the world's largest professional archaeological body. Ian's other professional interests are archaeology and social identity, archaeological ethics, and the role of archaeology and archaeological heritage in contemporary society.

Research Impacts

Ian's professional mission is to help create a worldwide paradigm shift that integrates local community perspectives with science and ethics in the study and protection of humanity's cultural and natural heritage. He pursues this goal in Australia and globally through his strong engagement with industry as well as his scholarly research. He focuses on heritage-related philosophies, policies and practices in three overlapping spheres: World Heritage, multilateral development banks and the transnational extractive industries sector. All of Ian's work aims to inject community concerns and approaches into the centre of professional agendas at all levels, from the UN down and from the local grassroots up. The objective is to promote fundamental structural change to the benefit of local communities, archaeologists and heritage practitioners across Australia and around the world. In recent years, this work has seen Ian publish widely on such matters as well as play central roles in:

· the development of Rio Tinto’s global corporate guidance on “why cultural heritage matters”, now an international industry standard,

· efforts to strengthen cooperation and coordination between ICOMOS and IUCN, the two statutory Advisory Bodies to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and

· building professional relationships with the World Bank and other multilateral development lenders to improve their approaches to heritage protection and management.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons), The University of Queensland
  • Master of Arts, The University of Queensland
  • PhD, Australian National University


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Book Chapter

  • Hockings, Marc, Lilley, Ian, Matar, Diane A., Dudley, Nigel and Markham, Robert (2020). Integrating science and local knowledge to strengthen biosphere reserve management. In Maureen G. Reed and Martin F. Price (Ed.), UNESCO Biosphere Reserves: supporting biocultural diversity, sustainability and society (pp. 241-253) Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780429428746-19

  • Lilley, Ian (2019). Lapita: the Australian Connection. In Stuart Bedford (Ed.), Debating Lapita: Chronology, society and subsistence (pp. 105-114) Canberra, ACT Australia: ANU Press. doi:10.22459/TA52.2019.05

  • Lilley, Ian (2018). Subsistence middlemen traders and pre-colonial globalization in Melanesia. In Nicole Boivin and Michael D. Frachetti (Ed.), Globalization in prehistory: contact, exchange, and the 'People Without History' (pp. 308-334) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108573276.014

  • Soderland, Hilary A. and Lilley, Ian A. (2018). The Fusion of Law and Ethics in Cultural Heritage Management. In Relevance and Application of Heritage in Contemporary Society (pp. 160-185) New York, NY United States: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203702277-16

  • Lilley, Ian, Buckley, Kristal and Kajlich, Helena (2017). World Heritage and Human Rights in Australia: From K'gari/Fraser Island to national processes. In Peter Bille Larsen (Ed.), World Heritage and Human Rights: Lessons from the Asia-Pacific and Global Arena (pp. 49-69) Abingdon, Oxford, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis.

  • Lilley, Ian (2016). Globalization thinking in Australasia and Oceania. In Tamar Hodos (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization (pp. 279-282) Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis. doi:10.4324/9781315449005

  • Lilley, Ian (2016). Melanesian maritime middlemen and pre-colonial glocalization. In Tamar Hodos (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization (pp. 335-353) Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis. doi:10.4324/9781315449005

  • Lilley, Ian (2015). 'This is not Australia!'. In Monique H. van den Dries, Sjoerd J. van der Linde and Amy Strecker (Ed.), Fernweh: crossing borders and connecting people in archaeological heritage management (pp. 83-86) Leiden, The Netherlands: Sidestone Press.

  • Allen, Jim and Lilley, Ian (2015). Australia and New Guinea, Archaeology of. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition (pp. 229-233) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier . doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.13014-4

  • Feary, Sue, Brown, Steve, Marshall, Duncan, Lilley, Ian, McKinnon, Robert, Verschuuren, Bas and Wild, Robert (2015). Earth's cultural history. In Graeme L. Worboys, Michael Lockwood, Ashish Kothari, Sue Feary and Ian Pulsford (Ed.), Protected area governance and management (pp. 81-116) Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU Press.

  • Lafrenz Samuels, Kathryn and Lilley, Ian (2015). Transnationalism and heritage development. In Lynn Meskell (Ed.), Global heritage: a reader (pp. 217-239) Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell.

  • Lilley, Ian (2014). Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association (IPPA). In Claire Smith (Ed.), Encyclopedia of global archaeology (pp. 3846-3847) New York, USA: Springer.

  • Lilley, Ian (2013). Nature and culture in World Heritage management: a view from the Asia-Pacific (or, never waste a good crisis!). In Sally Brockwell, Sue O’Connor and Denis Byrne (Ed.), Transcending the Culture-Nature Divide in Cultural Heritage: Views from the Asia-Pacific Region (pp. 13-22) Canberra, Australia: ANU E Press.

  • Lilley, Ian (2012). New Guinea. In Neil Asher Silberman (Ed.), The Oxford Companion To Archaeology 2nd ed. (pp. xx-xx) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

  • Lilley, Ian (2012). Oceania, archaeological practice in. In Neil Asher Silberman (Ed.), The Oxford Companion To Archaeology 2nd ed. (pp. xx-xx) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

  • Lilley, Ian (2012). Professional organizations. In Neil Asher Silberman (Ed.), The Oxford Companion To Archaeology 2nd ed. (pp. xx-xx) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

  • Lilley, Ian (2012). Questions in archaeology: one step forward, two steps back (or at least sideways off the track…)?. In Ian Donaldson and Mark Finnane (Ed.), Taking stock: the humanities in Australian life since 1968 (pp. 223-229) Perth, WA, Australia: University of Western Australia Press.

  • Lilley, Ian and Sand, Christophe (2012). Thematic frameworks for the cultural values of the Pacific.. In Anita Smith (Ed.), World heritage in a sea of islands : Pacific 2009 programme (pp. 22-27) Paris, France: UNESCO.

  • Lilley, Ian (2010). Archaeology, diaspora and decolonization. In Margaret M. Bruchac, Siobhan M. Hart and H. Martin Wobst (Ed.), Indigenous archaeologies: A reader in decolonization Reprint edition ed. (pp. 86-91) Walnet Creek, CA, U.S.A.: Left Coast Press.

  • Lilley, Ian (2010). Context for this Thematic Study. In Early Human Expansion and Innovation in the Pacific (pp. 1-12) Paris, France: International Council on Monuments and Sites.

  • Lilley, Ian (2010). Near Oceania. In Ian Lilley (Ed.), Early Human Expansion and Innovation in the Pacific (pp. 13-46) Paris, France: International Council on Monuments and Sites.

  • Sand, Christophe, Lilley, Ian, Valentin, Frédérique, Bolé, Jacques, Gony, Bealo and Baret, David (2010). Tiga (Iles Loyaute): Prehistoire et ethno-archeologie d'une ile melanesienne en marge. In Frédérique Valentin, Maurice Hardy and Pierre Rouillard (Ed.), Hommes, milieux et traditions dans le Pacifique Sud (pp. 33-46) Paris, France: De Boccard.

  • Lilley, Ian (2009). Strangers and brothers? Heritage, human rights and a cosmopolitan archaeology in Oceania. In Lynn Meskell (Ed.), Cosmopolitan archaeologies (pp. 48-67) Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Lilley, Ian (2008). Archaeology, the World Bank, and postcolonial politics. In Matthew Liebmann and Uzma Z. Rizvi (Ed.), Archaeology and the postcolonial critique (pp. 141-164) Lanham, USA: AltaMira Press.

  • Carter, Melissa and Lilley, Ian (2008). Between the Australian and Melanesian realms: The archaeology of the Murray Islands and consideration of a settlement model for Torres Strait. In James Conolly and Matthew Campbell (Ed.), Comparative island archaeologies (pp. 69-84) Oxford, U.K.: Archaeopress.

  • Lilley, Ian A. (2008). Flights of fancy: Fractal geometry, the Lapita dispersal and punctuated colonisation in the Pacific. In Clark, G, Leach, F and O'Connor, S (Ed.), Islands of Inquiry: Colonisation, Seafaring and the Archaeology of Maritime Landscapes 1st ed. (pp. 75-86) Canberra: ANU E Press.

  • Lilley, Ian (2008). Migrations: Pacific. In Deborah M. Pearsall (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Archaeology (pp. 1632-1643) San Diego, Calif.: Elsevier Inc.. doi:10.1016/B978-012373962-9.00193-X

  • Sheehan, Norm and Lilley, Ian (2008). Things are not always what they seem: Indigenous knowledge and pattern recognition in archaeological analysis. In Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh and T. J. Ferguson (Ed.), Collaboration in archaeological practice: Engaging descendant communities (pp. 87-115) Lanham, U.S.A.: AltaMira Press.

  • Ulm, Sean and Lilley, Ian (2007). Sean Ulm's and Ian Lilley's guide to doing archaeology in Queensland. In Claire Smith and Heather Burke (Ed.), Digging it up down under: A practical guide to doing archaeology in Australia (pp. 141-143) New York, U.S.: Springer.

  • Lilley, Ian (2006). Archaeology in Oceania: Themes and Issues. In Ian Lilley (Ed.), Archaeology of Oceania: Australia and the Pacific Islands (pp. 1-28) Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. doi:10.1002/9780470773475.ch1

  • Lilley, I. A. (2006). It's Life, Jim, but Not as We Know It. In J. Schultz (Ed.), Hot Air: How Nigh's the End? 12 ed. (pp. 213-224) Sydney: ABC Books and Griffith University.

  • Lilley, Ian A. and Williams, Michael J. (2005). Archaeological and Indigenous significance: A view from Australia. In Clay Mathers, Timothy Darvill and Barbara J. Little (Ed.), Heritage of Value, Archaeology of Renown: Reshaping Archaeological Assessment and Significance (pp. 227-247) Gainsville, FL, USA: University Press of Florida.

  • Lilley, Ian (2005). Archaeology and the politics of change in a decolonizing Australia. In J. Lydon and T. Ireland (Ed.), Object lessons: Archaeology and heritage in Australia (pp. 89-106) Melbourne, Australia: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

  • Ulm, Sean, Cotter, Stephen, Cotter, Maria, Lilley, Ian, Clarkson, Chris and Reid, Jill (2005). Edge-ground hatchets on the Southern Curtis Coast, Central Queensland: A preliminary Assessment of Technology, Chronology and Provenance. In Ingereth Macfarlane, Mary-Jane Mountain and Robert Paton (Ed.), Many Exchanges: Archaeology, History, Community and the Work of Isabel McBryde (pp. 323-342) Canberra: Aboriginal History Inc..

  • Lilley, I. A. (2004). Archaeology in Melanesia. In Murray and T. (Ed.), Archaeology from Australia (pp. 71-84) Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

  • Lilley, I. A. (2004). Diaspora and identity in archaeology: Moving beyond the Black Atlantic. In L Meskell and R. W. Preucel (Ed.), A Companion to Social Archaeology (pp. 287-312) Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. doi:10.1002/9780470693605.ch13

  • Lilley, I. A. (2002). Lapita and type Y pottery in the KLK site, Siassi, Papua New Guinea. In S. Bedford, C. Sand and D. Burley (Ed.), Fifty years in the field: Essays in honour and celebration of Richard Shutler Jr's archaeological career (pp. 79-90) Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Archaeological Association.

  • Anderson, A., Bedford, S., Clark, G., Lilley, I., Sand, C., Summerhayes, G. and Torrence, R. (2001). An inventory of Lapita sites containing dentate-stamped pottery. In G.R. Clark, A.J. Anderson and T. Vunidilo (Ed.), The Archaeology of Lapita Dispersal in Oceania: Papers from the Fourth Lapita Conference, June 2000, Canberra, Australia (pp. 1-13) Canberra: Pandanus Books, Australian National University.

  • Lilley, Ian (2001). Of cowboys and core-tools: Revisionist reflections on Rhys Jones and 'The Great Intensification Debate'. In A. Anderson, I. Lilley and S. O'Connor (Ed.), Histories of Old Ages: Essays in Honour of Rhys Jones (pp. 251-256) Canberra, ACT Australia: ANU Press.

  • Lilley, Ian A. (2000). Jim Allen and the archaeology of coastal Papua New Guinea. In Atholl Anderson and Tim Murray (Ed.), Australian archaeologist: Collected papers in hounour of Jim Allen (pp. 249-267) Canberra, ACT Australia: Coombs Academic Publishing, ANU.

  • Lilley, I. A. (2000). Migration and ethnicity in the evolution of Lapita and post-Lapita maritime societies in northwest Melanesia. In S. O'Connor and P. Veth (Ed.), East of Wallace's line: Studies of past and present maritime cultures of the Indo-Pacific region (pp. 177-197) Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema.

  • Lilley, I. A. (2000). Native Title and the transformation of archaeology in the postcolonial world. In Ian Lilley (Ed.), Native Title and the Transformation of Archaeology in the Postcolonial World (pp. 1-9) Sydney: Oceania Publications, University of Sydney.

  • Lilley, Ian (2000). Native Title and the transformation of archaeology in the postcolonial world. In Ian Lilley (Ed.), Native Title and the transformation of archaeology in the postcolonial world (pp. 1-9) Sydney, NSW, Australia: Oceania Publications.

  • Lilley, I. A. (2000). Professional attitudes to indigenous interests in the Native Title era: Settler societies compared. In Ian Lilley (Ed.), Native title and the transformation of archaeology in the postcolonial world (pp. 99-119) Sydney, NSW Australia: Oceania Publications, University of Sydney.

  • Lilley, Ian, Brian, Deborah and Ulm, Sean (1999). The use of foraminifera in the identification and analysis of marine shell middens. In Mary-Jane Mountain and Doreen Bowdery (Ed.), Taphonomy: the analysis of processes from phytoliths to megafauna (pp. 9-16) Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU Press.

  • Brian, Deborah, Lilley, Ian and Ulm, Sean (1999). The use of foraminifera in the identification and analysis of marine shell middens: A view from Australia. In Taphonomy: The Analysis of Processes from Phytoliths to Megafauna (pp. 9-16) Canberra: Archaeology and Natural History Publications, Australian National University.

  • Lilley, I. (1998). East of Irian: Archaeology in Papua New Guinea. In Gert-Jan Bartstra (Ed.), Bird's Head approaches : Irian Jaya studies, a programme for interdisciplinary research (pp. 135-156) Rotterdam, Netherlands: Brookfield, VT : Balkema.

  • Lilley, Ian (1998). East of Irian: Papua New Guinea's prehistory. In G-J. Barstra (Ed.), Bird’s Head Approaches (pp. 135-156) Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema.

  • Lilley, Ian and Hall, Jay (1996). Introduction: recent Queensland research. In S. Ulm, Ian Lilley and A. Ross (Ed.), Australian Archaeology 1995: Proceedings of the 17th Australian Archaeological Association Conference (pp. 191-192) Brisbane, QLD Australia: Department of Anthropology and Sociology, The University of Queensland.

  • Lilley, I. (1992). The past: the evidence of archaeology. In Robert D. Attenborough and Michael P. Alpers (Ed.), Human Biology in Papua New Guinea: The Small Cosmos (pp. 150-171) Oxford, United Kingdom: Clarendon Press.

  • Lilley, Ian (1991). Lapita sites in the Duke of York Islands. In Jim Allen and Chris Gosden (Ed.), The Report of the Lapita Homeland Project (pp. 164-169) Canberra, ACT Australia: Department of Prehistory, Australian National University.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Joint Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision