Dr Daryl Wesley

Senior Research Fellow

College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

place Humanities (125B)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Daryl is a multidisciplinary archaeologist that has developed a high degree of proficiency in field archaeology, rock art, archaeological sciences, heritage conservation, and anthropological research over two and a half decades. During this time he has accomplished valuable contributions to Indigenous and historical archaeological studies in the Northern Territory, Australia. Daryl’s particular research interests have been the archaeology of culture contact between South East Asians, Europeans and Aboriginal people in remote north-western Arnhem Land. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of tropical Australia’s ecology, zoology, geology, geomorphology he is pursuing a study of fauna in the rock art of Arnhem Land. The extent of Daryl’s research has been involved in multidisciplinary collaboration with a number of specialists to research various aspects of culture contact material culture analysis , rock art analysis , ships depicted in rock art, the Macassan trepang industry, Macassan pottery, glass beads, pXRF analysis of rock art, isotope studies, and radiocarbon dating . In particular, Daryl’s research has investigated the identification firearms depicted in Arnhem Land rock art through the use of distinctive characteristics to establish a hierarchy of identification. Daryl also has continuing interests in studying shell middens, earth mounds, and rockshelters in tropical Australia.


BA, University of Queensland
BA (Hons), Charles Darwin University

Masters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (by Research), Charles Darwin University

PhD, Australian National University

Honours, awards and grants

2015 Ulm-Ross Prize for the Best Paper in the journal Australian Archaeology

2013 Bruce Veitch Award for Excellence in Indigenous Engagement. Awarded to an individual who has undertaken an archaeological or cultural heritage project which has produced a significant outcome for Indigenous interests.

2011 University Of Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Paper Award. Australian Archaeology Association Annual Conference for “Understanding the complexity of cultural change during the contact period in north western Arnhem Land.”

2011 Best Student Paper Award. Australian Archaeology Association Annual Conference for “Understanding the complexity of cultural change during the contact period in north western Arnhem Land.”

2010 The George Chaloupka Fellowship. Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

2006 The Laila Haglund Prize for Excellence in Consultancy Paper Award. Awarded by the Australian Association for Consultant Archaeologists Incorporated for “Communities of Confidence: Documenting Indigenous Land Use and Settlement Patterns From Rock Art Distribution in Western Arnhem Land.”

Editorial Advisory Board Membership

Australian Archaeology (2015 to current)

Topic coordinator
ARCH9001 Archaeology Thesis
Expert for media contact
Australian Archaeology
Rock Art
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Archaeology
  • Conservation
  • Australian Archaeology
  • Rock Art

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