Martin Porr

Associate Professor, BA Zwischenprüfung, MA PhD S'ton

  • The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Martin Porr is Associate Professor of Archaeology and a member of the Centre for Rock Art Research + Management at the University of Western Australia (UWA). He received his PhD from the University of Southampton in 2002. He was employed at the Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte (Halle/Saale, Germany) and was Museum Director of the Städtische Museen Quedlinburg (Germany). He currently is Discipline Lead and coordinator of the honours program for Archaeology at UWA. He teaches archaeology at undergraduate and honours level and supervises postgraduate research students.

He has published widely on Palaeolithic art and archaeology as well as general theoretical aspects of archaeological and rock art research. He is co-editor of the volume The Hominid Individual in Context. Archaeological Investigations of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Landscapes, Locales and Artefacts (with C. S. Gamble; Routledge, 2005), the volume Southern Asia, Australia and the Search for Human Origins (with R. Dennell; Cambridge University Press, 2014) and the volume Interrogating Human Origins. Decolonisation and the Deep Human Past (with Jacqueline M. Matthews; Routledge, 2020). His research has so far concentrated on aspects related to the Palaeolithic art of Europe and Australian rock art, which has resulted in a number of contributions to major journals, such as the PlosONE, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Current Anthropology, and Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory and Antiquity. He has conducted fieldwork in Germany, Thailand, Australia, India, and the Philippines. During his career he has received grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Australian Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), the Arts and Humanities Research Board of the British Academy, the National Geographic Society, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and other institutions. Between August 2015 and October 2017, he was based at the Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte at the Universität Tübingen (Germany) as a Senior Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow.

Roles and responsibilities

Major Coordinator Archaeology

Funding overview

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (The German Ethnographic Expeditions to the Kimberley, Northwest Australia. A Collaborative Assessment of Research History, the Interpretation of Australian Aboriginal Heritage and Digital Repatriation)

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Senior Research Fellowship)

Australian Research Council – Linkage Grant (Kimberley Visions - The Origins of Rock Art Provinces in Northern Australia)

Wenner-Gren Foundation – Workshop grant (Decolonisation and Human Origins: Being and Becoming ‘Us’)

National Geographic Global Exploration Fund (In Search of the Earliest Human Colonists of the Philippine Archipelago)

UWA Research Collaboration Award/Worldwide Universities Network Mobility Research Programme (Images of Images: Applying digital recording technology in the analysis, management and visualization of Kimberley rock-art)

National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program (Return to Oomarri: Dating and preserving north-western Australian Indigenous rock-art)

Research Development Award of the University of Western Australia (North of the Southern Arc: Discovering the pathways and conditions for the colonization of Australia)

Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) (The bark paintings of the 1938 Petri/Frobenius-Collection: Contexts and development of artistic practice in the Northwest Kimberley)

Previous positions

Director of Municipal Museums of Quedlinburg (UNESCO World Heritage site), Germany

Teaching overview

ARCY1001 - Think like an Archaeologist

ARCY2001 -Think like a Neanderthal. The Archaeology of Human Origins


  1. Australian Aboriginal archaeology and rock art research
  2. Ethnographic collections and archival histories
  3. Postcolonial and critical approaches to archaeology
  4. Theoretical and anthropological archaeology
  5. Human social and cognitive evolution
  6. European Palaeolithic art




Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Research expertise keywords

  • Hunter-gatherer archaeology
  • Hunter-gatherer archaeology of Europe
  • Archaeology of art and rock art
  • Archaeological method and theory
  • Human social and cognitive evolution
  • Social learning
  • Postcolonial archaeology


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