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

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from PlumX

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 was recently awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for the project “Deep Time Images in the Age of Globalisation: Contemporary Heritage, Future Opportunities” (2024-2028).

He has published widely on Palaeolithic art and archaeology as well as general theoretical aspects of archaeological and rock art research. He has conducted fieldwork in Germany, Thailand, Australia, India, and the Philippines. He is currently engaged in active field research in the Kimberley, Western Australia. His research has so far concentrated on aspects related to decolonising approaches in archaeological, anthropological, and ethnographic collections research, Palaeolithic archaeology, the Palaeolithic art of Europe as well as Australian rock art, and he has co-edited several volumes on these themes:

  • The Hominid Individual in Context. Archaeological Investigations of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Landscapes, Locales and Artefacts (with C. S. Gamble; Routledge, 2005),
  • Southern Asia, Australia, and the Search for Human Origins (with R. Dennell; Cambridge University Press, 2014),
  • Interrogating Human Origins. Decolonisation and the Deep Human Past (with Jacqueline M. Matthews; Routledge, 2020),
  • Ontologies of Rock Art: Images, Relational Approaches, and Indigenous Knowledges (with O. Moro Abadía; Routledge, 2021), and
  • One World Anthropology and Beyond. A Multidisciplinary Engagement with the Work of Tim Ingold (with Niels Weidtmann; Routledge, 2024).

His research is also published in major journals, such as PlosONE, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Current Anthropology, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory and Antiquity.

Martin Porr’s research career has been diverse, with previous employments at the Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte (Halle/Saale, Germany), and as Museum Director of the Städtische Museen Quedlinburg (Germany). He teaches archaeology at undergraduate and honours level and supervises postgraduate research students. He was Discipline Chair for Archaeology at UWA and the Major Coordinator for Archaeology at UWA.

During his career he has received grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the 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 as well as September and November 2022, he was based at the Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte at the Universität Tübingen (Germany) as a Senior Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow.

Funding overview

Australian Research Council (Future Fellowship - Deep Time Images in the Age of Globalisation. Contemporary Heritage, Future Opportunities)

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

School of Social Sciences, Archaeology, University of Western Australia (2008 – 2023)

  • ARCY 1001 Great Discoveries in World Archaeology/Think like an Archaeologist
  • ARCY 1002 Archaeology Today: Principles and Themes
  • ARCY 1101 Digging up the Past
  • ARCY 1102 Archaeology of Tribes and Empires
  • ARCY2001 Think like a Neanderthal: The Archaeology of Human Origins
  • ARCY 2002 Archaeology of Colonisation and Contact
  • ARCY 2201 Early Southeast Asia: Before Farming
  • ARCY 2211 Medieval Archaeology
  • ARCY 3001 Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Europe
  • ARCY 3006 Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe
  • ARCY4101 Archaeology Honours – Advanced Archaeological Theory
  • SOCS4101 Advanced Theory in Social Sciences
  • ARCY3003 Doing Archaeology: Analytical Skills
  • GEOG1106 Climate Change: Environment and Society


Institut für Prähistorische Archäologie und Archäologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (2004 – 2006)

  • Einführung in die paläolithische Kunst Europas
  • Einführung in das Paläolithikum Europas


Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen (1996 – 1997)

  • Einführung in die Kulturanthropologie der Jäger und Sammler (Introduction into the social anthropology of hunters and gatherers; in collaboration with Nicholas J. Conard)




  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
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Archaeology, Doctor of Philosophy, Reflections of Human Beings: The Aurignacian Art of Central Europe , University of Southampton

1 Jul 19985 Jul 2002

Award Date: 5 Jul 2002

Archaeology, Master of Arts (Archaeological Theory), Interpreting Ethnoarchaeology. The Forager Revisionist Debate and Implications for Ethnoarchaeological Practice , University of Southampton

21 Mar 199621 Mar 1997

Award Date: 21 Mar 1997

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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