Professor Geoff Bailey

Academic Status

College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

place Humanities Building
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Geoff Bailey is a world authority on coastal prehistory and submerged landscapes, and on the archaeology of time.

He took his early training at the University of Cambridge and stayed on as Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University Lecturer and Senior Tutor of Clare Hall. In 1996 he was appointed as Chair and HoD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and in 2004 to a newly created Anniversary Chair at the University of York.

He has field experience in many parts of the world, and has led major projects in Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, Africa and Australia, most recently the EU COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Trans-Domain research network SPLASHCOS (Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology and Landscapes of the Continental Shelf) and the ERC-Funded DISPERSE Project (Dynamic Landscapes, Coastal Environments and Human Dispersals).

These projects have led to work across the boundaries between Archaeology and many other scientific disciplines and to engagement in multi-national collaborative projects across a wide intellectual spectrum in the field, in the laboratory, and in the development of interpretive models.

He has published over 200 scientific papers and 20 books, most recently Under the Sea: Archaeology and Palaeolandscapes of the Continental Shelf (Springer International, 2017, co-edited with Jan Harff and Dimitris Sakellariou).

Qualifications

BA (1st Class) in Archaeology, University of Cambridge (1970)

PhD in Archaeology, University of Cambridge (1976)

Honours, awards and grants

2018 Europa Prize of the Prehistoric Society

2017 Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

2017 King AbdulAziz Book Prize for a book on the history of the Arabian Peninsula in a non Arabic language

2017 Norman Tindale Memorial Lecture. Anthropological Society of South Australia

2016 Visiting Fellow, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich

2016 Sir John Hood Fellow, University of Auckland

2015 President, UISPP Commission on ‘Coastal Prehistory and Submerged Landscapes’

2014 Member of the Academia Europaea

2012 Fu Ssu-nien Memorial Lecturer, Academica Sinica, Republic of China

2011 Principal Investigator, European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant 269586 DISPERSE

2010 Corresponding Member of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut

2009 Chairman, EU Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Trans-domain Action TD0902 SPLASHCOS

2007 Antiquity Prize, best paper published in 2006

2006 British Archaeology Awards in the Channel 4 IT category (Northumberland rock-art website)

2001 Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellow

1997 Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne

1992 Sir Robert Menzies Trust Australian Bicentennial Fellow, ANU, Australia

1987 Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA)

1986 Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA)

1974 British Academy Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

1971 Royal Society Leverhulme Studentship for Overseas Research, Sydney University, Australia

Recent Grants

2017 ARC Discovery Project. The Deep History of Sea Country

2016 EU Marie-Curie Outgoing International Fellowship. SURFACE

2015 EU Marie-Curie Outgoing International Fellowship. INTERACT

2011 ERC Advanced Grant. DISPERSE

2011 Royal Society Newton International Fellowship. Climatic Change and Coastal Settlement in Northern Spain

2009 EU COST Action TD0902 Cooperation in Science and Technology, inter-governmental grant, SPLASHCOS

2010 ARC Linkage Project. Enhancing Cultural Heritage for Mining Operations: a Multi-Disciplinary Approach

2008 Wenner-Gren Foundation, Workshop Grant. Shell Energy, Senegal

2008 British Academy. The Southern Red Sea Project

Research interests

Geoff has world-wide interests in the evolution of terrestrial landscapes and the ways in which geological instabilities resulting from sea-level change and active tectonics at plate margins and in rifts have shaped human lives, livelihoods and long-term evolutionary trajectories, Specific interests include:

  • Survey and excavation of mounded shell middens, which occur in their hundreds of thousands around the coastlines of the world as the most visible archaeological expression of past coastal settlement
  • Development of microscopic and biomolecular methods of analysing marine mollusc shells and other midden contents for information on palaeodiet and palaeoclimate
  • Analysis of the relationship between coastal archaeology and changes in sea-level and coastal geomorphology
  • Underwater exploration of the continental shelf for surviving traces of now-submerged landscape features and archaeology
  • The contribution of tectonically active landscapes, coastal environments and marine resources to developments in world prehistory.
  • Archaeological theories of time and the influence of time scale, time resolution and time perspective on archaeological data, observations and interpretation

Major field projects include

  • Mesolithic shell mounds of NW Europe and those of northern Australia
  • Palaeolithic cave excavations and landscape reconstructions in NW Greece
  • Analysis of active tectonics in shaping human landscapes in the Mediterranean, the Near East and Africa,
  • Explorations of Palaeolithic archaeology, shell mounds and submerged landscapes in SW Arabia and the southern Red Sea
  • Shell mounds and submerged landscapes in the Cape York Peninsula and Western Australia

Current fieldwork engagement includes the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia and Qatar), Australia (Cape York Peninsula and the Pilbara coast), Africa (Kenyan Rift and Senegal) and Europe (especially Spain and Greece).

These interests have been supported by over AUS$8 million of external peer-reviewed research funding and resulted in 20 books and over 200 scientific papers

Publications