Peter Veth

Professor, Director UWA Oceans Institute , BA (Hons) PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 724 Citations
  • 16 h-Index

Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Peter Veth is a leading Archaeologist who has carried out research and management throughout Australia, Island South East Asia and remote Polynesia. His research has engaged with marine themes and science for over 30 years including pioneering work on the marine heritage of the Aru Islands, Timor Leste, Torres Strait, Dampier Archipelago, Barrow and Montebello Islands. He has developed maritime archaeology projects at both undergraduate and doctoral levels with colleagues from Australian, US and UK Universities. Recent ARC projects include the Australian Historic Shipwreck Preservation Project; The Archaeology of East Timor; the Archaeology of the Aru Islands; and Murujuga: Dynamics of the Dreaming (Dampier Archipelago). Research carried out on the Montebellos and Barrow Island has established the earliest evidence for coastal occupation at 50,000 years ago and the systematic use of a broad suite of maritime resources through periods of significantly fluctuating sea-levels. 

Roles and responsibilities

Peter is Director of the UWA Oceans Institute which has the mandate to foster and profile research on marine science and societies across UWA faculties and collaborating organisations. He sits on the Executive of the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre which has a Research Committee and Building Management Committee under it. He currently sits of the ARC College of Experts and is a Lead and Chief Investigator on three Australian Research Council Projects. 

Future research

The environmental and human history of the sand quay islands of the Pilbara

Seascapes of Cocos-Keeling Islands

Archaeology and environmental records of the Ningbing Ranges, Northern Kimberley

The documentation and dating of Kimberley rock art within the Balanggarra Determination, Kimberley

Funding overview

Major Nationally Competitive Grants Last 10 Years

2018 - 2021 ARC Linkage - Dating the Kimberley Rock Art Body (CI)

2017 - 2018 ARC Discovery - Deep History of Sea Country (CI)

2016 - 2020 ARC Linkage - Kimberley Visions: Rock Art Style Provinces of Northern Australia (Lead CI)

2015 - 2017 ARC Linkage - Murujuga: Dynamics of the Dreaming (CI)

2014-2016 ARC Linkage - The Dating and Conservation of Kimberley Rock Art (CI)

2013-2015 ARC Discovery and DORA 3 - The Barrow Island Archaeology Project (Lead CI)

2011-2014 ARC Linkage - The Australian Historic Shipwrecks Protection Project (Lead CI)

2010 – 2012 ARC Discovery - Two Lakes Project Lakes Gregory and Mungo (CI)

2007-2011 ARC Linkage - Rock Art and Jukurr Canning Stock Route Project (CI)

Previous positions

2012 (ongoing) Professor of Archaeology UWA
2012-2018 Chair of Kimberley Rock Art
2011 Reader Research School of Humanities ANU
2006-2010 Deputy-Director ANU
2002-2005 Executive Officer AIATSIS
1993-2002 Associate Professor JCU
1992 Heritage Officer DAA
1991-1992 Research Officer UWA

Current projects

Murujuga: Dynamics of the Dreaming (CI)

Kimberley Visions: Rock Art Style Provinces of Northern Australia (Lead CI)

Dating the Kimberley Rock Art Body (CI)

Industrial relevance

Senior Archaeological and Heritage Consultant
Heritage Expert Witness in the Federal Court

Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme 2815.2 (res) Occupational Dive Supervisor  



* The global emergence of maritime societies

* Australian maritime archaeology
* Quaternary science processes in coastal and off-shore contexts
* Theory and method in maritime archaeology
* Archaeology and heritage management


Teaching overview

1) Introduction to Archaeology 
2) Australian Archaeology 
3) Archaeological Science 
4) Maritime Archaeology
5) Archaeological Method and Theory 
6) Critical Issues in Archaeology 
7) Field Techniques in Terrestrial Archaeology
8) Field Techniques in Maritime Archaeology 
9) Archaeology of the Ship 
10) Honours Program (maritime, historic and Indigenous) 
11) Archaeology of Indigenous Australia 
12) Masters and Doctoral supervision in terrestrial and maritime archaeology


Dutch - conversational
Martu - basic
Bahasa Indonesian - basic

Research expertise keywords

  • Evolution of maritime societies
  • Underwater cultural heritage
  • Rock art in archaeological contexts
  • Archaeology of Indigenous Australia
  • Maritime archaeology in Australia
  • Desert Archaeology
  • Shipwreck conservation strategies
  • Site formation processes
  • The archaeology of submerged landscapes
  • Cultural heritage management and significance assessment
  • Public education and archaeology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Peter Veth is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 12 Similar Profiles

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

12,000 year old Aboriginal rock art from the Kimberley region, Western Australia

Finch, D., Gleadow, A., Hergt, J., Levchenko, V., Heaney, P., Veth, P., Harper, S., Ouzman, S., Myers, C. & Green, H., 6 Feb 2020, In : Science Advances. 6, eaay3922, 9 p., eaay3922.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    56 Downloads (Pure)

    Kimberley Rock Art

    Harper, S., Veth, P. & Ouzman, S., 2020, Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Smith, C. (ed.). 2nd ed. Netherlands: Springer, 16 p. (Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

  • 205 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • A Strategy for Assessing Continuity in Terrestrial and Maritime Landscapes from Murujuga (Dampier Archipelago), North West Shelf, Australia

    Veth, P., McDonald, J., Ward, I., O'Leary, M., Beckett, E., Benjamin, J., Ulm, S., Hacker, J., Ross, P. J. & Bailey, G., 25 Apr 2019, In : The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. 27 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Corrigendum: Coastal occupation before the “Big Swamp”: Results from excavations at John Wayne Country Rockshelter on Barrow Island

    Demuro, M., Arnold, L. J., Spooner, N. A., Ditchfield, K. & Veth, P., Apr 2019, In : Archaeology in Oceania. 54, 1, p. 68-72 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) researcher images 2011

    Veth, P. (Creator) & McDonald, J. (Data Manager), The University of Western Australia, 27 Feb 2013


    Investigator Images 2011 - Subterranean Shelter Close-ups

    Veth, P. (Creator) & McDonald, J. (Data Manager), The University of Western Australia, 27 Feb 2013


    Chief Investigator Images 2011 - Oblique and aerial images of historic contact sites

    Veth, P. (Creator) & McDonald, J. (Data Manager), The University of Western Australia, 27 Feb 2013


    Barrow Island Archaeology Project - General Images

    Veth, P. (Creator) & McDonald, J. (Data Manager), The University of Western Australia, 27 Feb 2013


    Chief Investigator Images 2011 - Landscape and Archaeology Images

    Veth, P. (Creator) & McDonald, J. (Data Manager), The University of Western Australia, 27 Feb 2013